Rare piglets born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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A litter of rare Visayan Warty Piglets has become the latest arrival at the award-winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Proud mum Trish has been fussing over her new babies who can be seen running around their home at the park.

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The piglets are stripy to help camouflage them while they are young, but this disappears with age.

The birth is an important step in the global conservation programme for the species, which is on the critically endangered list after being hunted to near extinction in its native Philippines.

“It’s absolutely brilliant to welcome these beautiful Visayan Warty piglets to Yorkshire Wildlife Park,” says Animal Manager Debbie Porter. “We’re very proud to be part of the conservation effort.

“The piglets won’t be let out in to the main outdoor reserve for a while yet, as they’re still so small they would fit through the fence! But the public can already see them running around inside and playing with their mum Trish.

“Dad Troy is being kept separate until they have grown up a little and can run freely in their reserve. Visayan warty pigs normally have one to three piglets in a litter so Trish is doing fantastic rearing a litter of five.”

Male Visayan warty pigs are unique amongst pigs as they grow a long mane during the breeding season.

The Visayan warty pig – a forest dwelling relative of the pig - is named after the six small islands where they were originally found and the three fleshy warts on their faces. It is now only found on three of the Visayan islands and extinct on the other three.

Hunting and de-forestation is pushing this species to extinction, it has disappeared from 98 per cent of its former range in the wild but Trish and Troy, who are both aged six, offer hope for the future along with breeding programmes in the Philippines.