Piglet among most endangered animals in the world born at Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

Piglet among most endangered animals in the world born at Oregon Zoo

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Visayan warty pig and piglet at the Oregon Zoo. (Photo: Oregon Zoo) Visayan warty pig and piglet at the Oregon Zoo. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A newborn piglet that is part of a species considered to be among the most endangered in the world explored his new home at the Oregon Zoo for the first time.

Oregon Zoo visitors got their first look at the Visayan warty piglet, born June 9, on Monday. He bounced around his outdoor habitat with his mom, Marge.

The piglet has been nursing well and even started eating some fruits and vegetables, according to senior keeper Julie Christie.

"He looks like a little watermelon with legs," Christie said. "There are probably fewer than 300 of these animals left in the entire world, so each birth is really something to celebrate."

Christie hopes the curious and active piglet will be a charismatic ambassador for his species, educating visitors about the importance of saving these rare pigs and their ever-shrinking habitat.

Considered critically endangered, Visayan warty pigs are native to just six islands of the Philippines and have gone extinct on four of them.

Slash-and-burn farming has destroyed their habitat at an alarming rate, according to the Oregon Zoo, leaving only small pockets of the species, which are isolated from each other and face dwindling food sources.

Following an urgent appeal from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Oregon Zoo became the fourth zoo in the nation to establish a breeding group of Visayan warty pigs.

While adult warty pigs have coarse gray hair, piglets are born with brown and yellow stripes, a camouflage pattern that fades after about a year. The new Oregon Zoo piglet has yet to receive a name.

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