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February 24, 2006
THREE LITTLE PIGS GO ON EXHIBIT AT THE SAN DIEGO ZOO
critically endangered Visayan warty piglets, born in mid-December, are now
on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, bringing the number of the rare swine at
the San Diego Zoo to twelve.
Because these animals are so rare and endangered,
these births are significant for conservation. This is the San Diego Zoo's
first litter of the season, but animal care staff at the zoo are expecting
more piglets throughout the spring.
Visayan warty pigs are found on only two islands in
the Philippines. Living on a small island can be difficult for animals:
they cannot leave to escape predators, food shortages, or hunters.
Fortunately, they have done well at the San Diego Zoo and the Zoo is
working with other zoos to increase warty pig numbers. The San Diego Zoo
is the first facility outside the Philippines to exhibit and breed the
critically endangered wild swine.
The one male piglet and two female piglets can be seen playing
in their exhibit every day near the entrance of Elephant Mesa, across
from the koala bears.
The 100-acre San Diego Zoo
is operated by the not-for-profit Zoological Society of San Diego. The
Zoological Society, dedicated to the conservation of endangered species
and their habitats, engages in conservation and research work around the
globe. The Zoological Society also manages the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo's
Wild Animal Park (more than half of which has been set aside as protected
native species habitat) and the department of Conservation and Research
for Endangered Species (CRES), and is working to establish field stations
in five key ecological areas worldwide.