Endangered twin piglets born in Belfast

Published Wednesday, 14 November 2012
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Belfast Zoo is celebrating after one of the world's most endangered species of pig gave birth to twins.

Endangered twin piglets born in Belfast
The twins arrived at Belfast Zoo over the weekend. (© Belfast Zoo)

The baby Visayan warty pigs were born on Saturday 13 October to parents Malcolm and Mabel.

The species, which originates from the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines, has been described as critically endangered and is at high risk due to food shortage, hunting and habitat loss - with very few of them remaining in the wild.

Malcolm and Mabel arrived at Belfast Zoo in 2010.

It is one of just four zoos in the UK to look after the species.

Zoo manager, Mark Challis, said: "We first bred Visayan warty pigs in 2011 and we are delighted that this success has continued with the recent birth of our twins.

"Visayan warty pigs are the most critically endangered of all wild pigs.

"They were once native to six islands in the Philippines but are now extinct on four of these.

"In fact, approximately 95% of this pigs' natural habitat has been cleared away by local farmers who cut down the forest for farm use.

"It is therefore imperative that zoos play an active role in the conservation of this amazing species."

Mr Challis said anyone who wants to help support the care of the Visayan warty pigs by taking part in the animal adoption scheme should call 028 90 776 277 extension 229.

© UTV News
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