The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Whipsnade Zoo has welcomed the arrival of eight newborn wild boar piglets.
Since their birth earlier this month, the stripy piglets had seemed unsure about leaving the pigsty, but their mum marched them outside, nudging them around their woodland enclosure.
Mum Hinge is one of two female wild boar at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
The zoo’s team leader, Donovan Glyn, said: “Hinge has clearly decided she doesn’t fancy staying in the sty anymore and has given the piglets their marching orders. With some gentle nose nudging, she actually managed to walk them around the entire paddock, which is great because now they’ve explored a bit, they’ll settle in really quickly.
“The wild boar piglets aren’t terribly active, so they probably needed the push from their mum to get out and about. They will continue to sleep a lot and drink milk, gradually weaning on to fruit and vegetables over the next few months.”
Wild boar weigh 0.4kg to 0.8kg at birth, but a male can grow to weigh up to 175kg in adulthood. “Eight isn’t actually that many for a litter of wild boar,” Mr Glyn said. “Last year, Hinge had 13 piglets, but boar tend to have fewer piglets the older they get.
Our other female, Bracket, has also just given birth, so we now have quite a number of stripy piglets running around.”
For more information, visit www.zsl.org