Only 200 Visayan warty pigs are thought to be left in their native habitat in the Philippines – making them the rarest of all wild pigs.
They have distinctive tufts of hair and are covered in warts (scent glands) - which aren’t that easy to spot! Our warty pigs can be found on Panay in Islands at Chester Zoo.
During breeding season males grow their mane into a striking ‘rock and roll’ hair style, similar to a ‘mohican’, to impress the females. This distinctive look doesn’t last though as at the end of the breeding season the male becomes almost bald again.
The decline of the species - almost to the point of extinction - is blamed on habitat loss and hunting.
Wild populations can only be found in remaining sections of forest on the islands of Panay and Negros in the Philippines. Extinction is looming for the warty pig species and without conservation intervention they will disappear completely.
To save and protect the warty pig species it requires plenty of field research and work with the local communities to educate them on how they can help to protect their habitat.
We support two breeding facilities – one on Panay and the other on Negros. These facilities give us the chance to study their breeding behaviour in a safe environment, as little is known about these pigs in the wild.
We are working to set up new protected areas to then release them into the wild and hopefully build up the population again.
The warty pig programme is only part of much wider support we provide for Philippine conservation. You can find out more about our conservation efforts in the Philippines on our Act for Wildlife website here.