The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) is celebrating the birth of four critically endangered Visayan warty piglets at Edinburgh Zoo. Keepers at the wildlife conservation charity say the piglets, born to parents Nikki and Elvis on 25 June, are all doing well and will be named soon.
Jonny Appleyard, hoofstock team leader at Edinburgh Zoo said, “We are so excited to welcome Nikki and Elvis’ piglets. Our Visayan warty pigs are full of character, and our four new arrivals are no exception. Once they receive their first health check in the coming weeks we will know if they are boys or girls.”
Visayan warty pigs are listed as critically endangered by the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN) and there is thought to be as a few as 200 of them remaining in the wild. The species is now extinct in 98% of their former range and they are only found on two small islands in the Philippines.
Jonny added, “Agricultural expansion and logging have devastated vast amounts of their habitat and they are also hunted for their meat, making them one of the rarest wild pigs in the world. We are excited to welcome four piglets who will act as incredible ambassadors for their species in the wild, inspiring more people to protect, value and love nature.”
At just six weeks old the piglets are still dependant on mum and spending a lot of time inside. Lucky visitors will be able to spot Nikki and her piglets exploring their home at Edinburgh Zoo more and more over the next few weeks.