April showers bring May flowers–and wonderfully weird swine as well–to Woodland Park Zoo!
May 5 marks the debut of two new swine species at the zoo: African warthogs and Visayan warty pigs. Both are the first wild-pig species to be exhibited there.
Visayan warty pigs, which look like tusked punk rockers with their distinctive crests of hair, will live in a habitat akin to the tropical broadleaf forest of their native Philippine environment. This species is highly endangered due to hunting, habitat loss caused by slash-and-burn farming, and interbreeding with domestic swine.
Warthogs, named for the wartlike bumps on their faces, will join the residents of the zoo’s African savanna. The “warts” are actually pads that help shield a boar’s face from the jabs and stabs of rivals’ tusks during mating season. Unlike the Visayan warty pig, the warthog is not endangered.
To celebrate the pigs’ debut, the first 500 kids age 12 and under will receive a free piggy bank at the ZooStores on both May 5 and 6.
Zoo visitors can also enjoy keeper talks at the pigs’ exhibit per the schedule below. Youngsters can also enjoy a fine swine time in Zoomazium, which will feature pig-themed activities.
“Pigs, Warts and All” programs:
10 a.m.-12 noon: “Visayan Warty Pigs: Smart Cart: Cute, Clever, Critically Endangered.”
10:30 a.m.: Creature Feature, Zoomazium
11 a.m.: Visayan Warty Pig Keeper Talk
11:30 a.m., Saturday Only: Warthog Keeper Talk
11:30 a.m.: Shake, Rattle & Roar in Zoomazium
1-4 p.m.: Nature Exchange Trading, Zoomazium
4:30 p.m.: Puppet Show, Zoomazium