Amongst the many animals one will see on a visit to Fota Wildlife Park on Fota lsland in east Cork is the Visayan warty pig. The Visayan warty pig is a critically endangered member of the Suidae family, a species of wild pig endemic to the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines. Originally found on all six of the Philippine islands, due to habitat loss, food shortages and being hunted mercilessly for their meat and skin, today they can only be found on two, the islands of Negros and Panay.
Visayan warty pigs like most wild pigs have medium-sized, barrel-shaped bodies with short legs. They have short necks, longish heads and small eyes with prominent snouts ending in a disk-like nose, and tusks which are upturned lower canines. The males generally are much larger in size and weight than females with larger tusks and warts.
The three small facial warts located around the snout and a distinctive white stripe that runs across the bridge of the nose and along the jaw are their most distinctive features. Sparse bristles cover their bodies, dark gray or black in females and young males which turn silvery or light-brown in adult males. Both sexes sport a tuft of dark reddish-brown or black hair on the crown of their heads. The breeding males that exist on PanayIsland annually grow this tuft into a long mane from forehead to rump. Continue reading