Piglets go wild in the great outdoors

Wild boar piglets at Whipsnade.
Wild boar piglets at Whipsnade.

The mum of eight new-born wild boar piglets decided it was time for the family to get out and about, one week after they were born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Since being born on April 8, the stripy piglets had seemed unsure about leaving the pigsty, but their mum marched them outside one week later, nudging the eight little wild boar around their woodland enclosure with her nose.

Mum Hinge is one of two female wild boar at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, named after the famous female-impersonation act Hinge and Bracket.

Zoo team leader, Donovan Glyn, said: “Hinge has clearly decided she doesn’t fancy staying in the sty any more and 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 onto fruit and vegetables over the next few months.

“Eight isn’t actually that many for a litter of wild boar. Last year, Hinge had 13 piglets, but boar tend to have less 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.”

Wild boar weigh just 0.4 – 0.8kg at birth, but a male can grow to weigh up to 175kg in adulthood.