Babirusa piglet born at Riverbanks Zoo

dprice@thestate.comMarch 14, 2013 

— The Riverbanks Zoo has another new addition--a two-week-old babirusa.

The babirusa, which is the Malay word for “deer-pig,” was the first of its species born at the Columbia zoo. The piglet is the offspring of Wilma and Bertello, two adult babirusas at the zoo, according to a release.

Wilma and Bertello were matched last February to breed, and were put in an exhibit together in September. Unlike other pig species, babirusas usually only have one or two piglets at a time, according to the release. The piglet at Riverbanks Zoo will continue to nurse for up to 8 months.

Babirusas typically live in tropical forests along river and lake shores, and are good swimmers. The animal has always been a rare one, but is now considered vulnerable due to a shrinking habitat and overhunting.

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