Belfast Zoo are delighted to hear the pitter patter of tiny trotters after the recent birth of Maleah and Malu, two very special Visayan warty pigs.
Proud parents, Malcolm and Mabel, arrived at their newly renovated Belfast Zoo enclosure in March/April 2010 from Chester Zoo and Rotterdam Zoo. The pair soon became inseparable and three weeks ago welcomed their new arrivals, Maleah and Malu.
Zoo manager, Mark Challis is delighted with this achievement,
The whole zoo team is delighted and extremely proud that within just one year we have been able to renovate an enclosure, introduce two new critically endangered animals and successfully breed two piglets! Visayan warty pigs are the most critically endangered of all wild pigs and while historically they were native to six islands within the Philippines they have already become extinct on four of them due to deforestation and they are hunted for meat and by farmers, to protect their harvest. With such a high risk of extinction in the wild, it makes the birth of Maleah and Malu very special and a real achievement for Belfast Zoo.
Zoo curator, Alyn Cairns said, The new piglets have been named Maleah and Malu, which are popular Philippine names that mean protection and uncertainty. The names are particularly apt as with the uncertainty of the survival and future of these fascinating creatures, it is the responsibility of zoos, like Belfast, to protect these beautiful and fascinating creatures.