03 January 2013

The arrival of a pair of babirusa piglets has been welcomed as great news for the future of the species – with wild populations under threat in their native Indonesia.

Keeper Phil Molyneux said:

“Babirusa pigs are highly threatened and are one of the rarest pig species on the planet. Our new arrivals add significantly to the world’s population and that’s what makes these births so important and such a great achievement.

“Zoos provide the last insurance policy against extinction and the pair should grow up to become a vital part of the international breeding programme to safeguard the species.

“These new-borns are really exciting for us and positive news for the future of the species.”

The two piglets were born seven weeks ago to mum Majene and dad Sausu and visitors to the zoo will be able to see them in a few months’ time when they have further developed.

In the wild, the species has seen numbers plummet largely because of habitat loss through logging and hunting for their meat.

 

Fast Facts

• The piglets were born on 16/12/12 • The public will be able to see them in a few months’ time when they have further developed • Babirusa go through a five month pregnancy • Babirusa feed on fruit, seeds, nuts, insects and fungi • They are classed by conservationists as vulnerable • The exact population numbers in the wild are unknown • The species has declined in the past largely because of habitat loss through logging and conversion, and to some extent through hunting • The species is endemic to the Sulawesi rainforests of Indonesia