Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Rare Visayan Warty Piglets Born at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

Visayan Warty Piglest at Thrigby Hall. Photograph Joe Blossom
Four rare Visayan warty piglets have been born at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens near Great Yarmouth. The Visayan warty pig is a critically endangered species and can only be found in the wild on two islands in the central Philippines.

Thrigby Hall is part of an international programme for the conservation of warty pigs, managed by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and the European Association of Zoos. The warty pigs are threatened in the wild by habitat loss, food shortages and hunting. Some 95% of the pigs’ natural habitat has been cleared by farmers who cut down forests to plant crops.

Ken Sims, Director of Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens said: “We joined this conservation programme earlier this year and are delighted to have four healthy warty piglets at Thrigby, as well as three adult pigs. This programme is an excellent example of the way that UK and European zoos and wildlife parks work together to conserve threatened species, who struggle to survive in their natural habitat due to human intervention.”

The Visayan warty pig gets its name from three pairs of fleshy warts on the boar’s face. It is thought that the warts have evolved as a natural defence against rival boars’ tusks during a fight.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens is at Filby near Great Yarmouth, t. 01493 369477. The Wildlife Gardens open every day at 10am.