Contact: Kyle Shepherd
(O) 502-238-5331 (C) 502-744-5639
The Louisville Zoo is honoring Father’s Day early with the introduction of a male babirusa piglet, born April 29 to mother, Patrice, and father, Albus! Guests can see the little piglet exploring the Zoo’s Islands dayroom from 10 a.m. to noon beginning Wednesday, June 7 through June 18. As male babirusas do in the wild, Albus will leave the piglet and his mom to bond on their own. However, even if Albus doesn’t join in the fun, there are many reasons to celebrate the successful birth of a babirusa.
This unusual animal is different from other wild pigs, with distinctive upper teeth that grow through the top of the male’s snout. These tusk-like teeth have inspired numerous indigenous myths, legends and artwork since humans first encountered them some 30,000 years ago. Found only on four islands in Indonesia, the isolated native population is considered vulnerable, mainly due to over-hunting and habitat destruction.
This is the second piglet born to Albus and Patrice. Their first piglet, Babs, was born in 2015 and currently resides at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, LA.
“Every animal birth is significant,” explains Dan Maloney, Louisville Zoo director. “This is what our Zoo community does, we save animals together. Along with other AZA-accredited zoos, your Louisville Zoo is proud to tell the story about a fascinating and special animal we are helping to propagate and protect.”
Zoo mammal assistant curator Jill Katka says the as-yet unnamed piglet literally hit the ground running. “He’s been zooming around since day one — nothing is too much of a challenge for him. He has personality plus!”
For those wishing to support the care of the babirusas and their newest addition, the Zoo offers “adoption packages” online with varying levels and options. More information is available about how to become a symbolic parent at louisvillezoo.org/adopts.
After Father’s Day, the babirusas will begin their rotation throughout the four viewing areas of the unique Islands exhibit, which also features Sumatran tigers, orangutans, siamangs, and tapirs.
The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (stay until 6 p.m.) now through Sept. 17. To plan your visit, go to louisvillezoo.org.
The Louisville Zoo, the State Zoo of Kentucky, is the top, non-profit, paid attraction in the state. The Zoo is dedicated to bettering the bond between people and our planet by providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for visitors, and leadership in scientific research and conservation education. The Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
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