This week, Edinburgh Zoo welcomed Jacques, a male Visayan warty pig from the Visayan Islands in the Philippines. According to Wildscreen Arkive, these pigs are known to live in the forest and males can weigh up to forty kilograms. What really distinguishes this type of pig from the rest is their ability to grow a long mane, growing to be around twenty-three centimeters in length during the winter season.
The Visayan warty pig has been classified as critically endangered. This was caused by the immense deforestation of the Philippines, getting killed by local farmers for interfering with crops, and also being illegally hunted. In efforts to conserve this species the Edinburgh Zoo adopted Jacques. He will be joining two female Visayan warty pigs, Evie and Mina, that the Zoo already has.
The Edinburgh Zoo has had success in breeding endangered species in the past. They are a member of the European Endangered Species breeding programme, with a current long-term goal to successfully breed and conserve the Visayan warty pig. The Zoo then hopes to reintegrate the pigs back into their native homes.
A statement released by Lorna Hughes, a Team Leader at the Edinburgh Zoo regarding Jacques said “we are very excited about the latest addition to our group of Visayan warty pigs. Jacques has settled in really well and is getting to know Evie and Mina and his new enclosure. It is great to be part of the breeding programme for this critically endangered species and we hope that our group will go on to play their part in helping to create a stable captive population which will help secure the future of this unusual species.”
The Edinburgh Zoo is very excited about their new addition, Jacques, and all that can mean for his species. You can go visit Jacques, getting cozy with his enclosure-mates, this winter at the Edinburgh Zoo.
Image: Nathan Rupert via flickr