One of the world’s rarest pigs to celebrate first Mother’s Day with newborn
A piglet named Tadeo, who belongs to a species said to be the rarest in the world, will spend his first Mother’s Day with his mum Tess at Whipsnade Zoo.
Tadeo, a three-month-old Visayan warty piglet, has been pictured snuffling for sweetcorn, currently his favourite food, with his mother.
Tadeo was the first Visayan warty piglet to be born at the conservation zoo.
With fewer than 200 of them left in the wild, zookeeper Donovan Glyn said the piglet’s birth has been important for the species.
Mr Glyn said: “Tadeo isn’t just important to his mother Tess, who has diligently cared for her first little one since his December arrival, barely letting him out of her sight, but also to his species.
“Visayan warty pigs are critically endangered and Tadeo is part of an important European-wide collaborative breeding programme for the species.”
Visayan warty pigs are known for their stripy skin and mullet-like hair when young, and are native to six small islands in the Philippines.
The species has been devastated by deforestation.
The conservation zoo, part of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) continues to recover populations of endangered species through its breeding programme and aims to restore mangrove forests in the Philippines.
Tadeo means praise in Filipino.
Mr Glyn said: “He’s enjoying exploring his woody, muddy environment and testing out his terrific sense of smell by seeking out tasty snacks hidden by zookeepers, at the moment his favourite food is sweetcorn.”
Tadeo was also able to play in the snow with his parents Tess and Mannie after the 600-acre grounds were blanketed last week.
“Lots of animals at Whipsnade have become parents since the last time we celebrated Mother’s Day,” said Mr Glyn.
“Reticulated giraffe Luna gave birth to Wilf, Asian elephant Donna welcomed Nang Phaya, and short-clawed otter Carol now has Pistachio and Peanut to take care of.
“They all have different parenting styles, which our keepers are looking forward to answering questions about on Sunday.”
Whipsnade Zoo will celebrate parents this Mother’s Day and will be open to visitors on Sunday.