First News - - ANIMAL NEWS -

ZSL Lon­don Zoo is squeal­ing with de­light at the ar­rival of the “ugli­est pigs in the world” who made their zoo de­but this week.

The hair­less babirusa pigs, called Budi and Beth, orig­i­nate from In­done­sia, where they have all sorts of un­usual nick­names.

Keeper Hannah Joy ex­plains: “Their tra­di­tional nick­names aren’t kind at all; peo­ple who live along­side them in In­done­sia call them rat pigs or de­mon pigs, be­cause of their long, mis­shapen tusks – which are ac­tu­ally teeth grow­ing through their noses that curl back­wards.”

The pair are part of a very im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional breed­ing pro­gramme that has been put in place to help safe­guard the fu­ture of this un­usual species. The pigs play a very im­por­tant part in the ecosys­tem of their for­est habi­tat – they dig up the ground while for­ag­ing for food, which helps to spread seeds and helps the for­est to grow.

One sur­pris­ing fact about these pigs is that they are very good swim­mers, so if you visit Budi and Beth at Lon­don Zoo you may even catch them tak­ing a cool­ing dip!

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