Monday 5 December 2016

Pigs are looking rather sheepish

Published 16/04/2010 | 19:37

Buddy (left) and Margot - the curly coated Mangalitza pigs at Tropical Wings zoo in Essex
Buddy (left) and Margot - the curly coated Mangalitza pigs at Tropical Wings zoo in Essex

Zoo-goers have been left scratching their heads - a pig or a sheep?

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These three pigs in blankets are rare curly coated Mangalitzas.

The woolly animals arrived at Tropical Wings Zoo in Essex as part of an educational and breeding programme.

An expert at the zoo said the pigs have a small genetic link to the native Lincolnshire curly coat, which died out in Britain in 1972.

The Mangalitzas originate from Austria and Hungary and were introduced to the UK by a breeder almost four years ago.

Now a male, Buddy, and two females, Porsche and Margot, have a home at the zoo in South Woodham Ferrers, Essex.

"Buddy has blond hair which is almost white, so people really do believe he is a sheep," said Denise Cox, education coordinator at the zoo. Everybody who walks past them stops because they want to know if they are pigs or sheep.

"We've got them here as part of a breeding programme to make sure this fascinating breed does not become extinct.

"Porsche, who has black curls and a blonde stomach, is showing early signs of being pregnant so we are all quite excited. It is still very early to tell though."

Press Association

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