Friday 22 September 2017

Visitor alert as pigs monkey around

Four red river hogs tried to escape from Edinburgh Zoo as they were moved to a private collection
Four red river hogs tried to escape from Edinburgh Zoo as they were moved to a private collection

Visitors to Edinburgh Zoo have taken refuge in one of the park's monkey enclosures as staff dealt with escapee pigs.

Four red river hogs escaped from their pen at about 8.30am on Monday as they were being moved into a vehicle.

The hogs - two adults and two youngsters - made their dash for freedom when one of the pigs broke through a barrier being used to guide them.

The animals were being moved from the zoo permanently to a private collection.

Darren McGarry, head of animals at the zoo, said: "Our keeping staff are highly trained for eventualities like this and handled the incident quickly and efficiently, recapturing the animals in a short period of time.

"Select areas of the park were closed, with visitors being moved into internal areas where necessary.

"All of the pigs remained on park grounds, three in the vicinity of their enclosure, with one travelling down to the panda enclosure.

"We suspect she wanted to see what all the fuss was about before she moved off to her new home."

A spokeswoman from the zoo confirmed one of the areas used to shelter visitors was a monkey enclosure.

Red river hogs, also known as bush pigs, are native to west and central Africa, and are characterised by a red coat of hair and a white mane running the length of their back.

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