COLUMBIA (WACH) - The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden's newest couple is now on exhibit.
A female babirusa, a rare, tusked animal native of Indonesia, joined a male babirua and now calls Riverbanks home.
The pig companions are named Wilma and Bertello.
Wilma is 2.5 years old and came to Riverbanks in February from the St. Louis Zoo based on the breeding recommendations of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Babirusa Specias Survival Plan, accoring to zoo officials.
Bertello came to Columbia in February of 2011.
â??We are excited to finally have a suitable match for Bertello,â?? said John Davis, curator of mammals at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. â??Since her arrival at Riverbanks, keepers have been gradually introducing Wilma to her new home and after a six month adjustment period, she and Bertello are now ready to go on exhibit as a pair.â??
Babirusa is a Maylasian term meaning deer-pig, according to zoo officials. A member of the pig family, this unusual, nearly hairless creature has thick, wrinkly skin and elongated legs that allow it to run swiftly like a deer. Males can be recognized by their long, protruding tusks, while female tusks are shorter and typically not visible.
At Riverbanks, Wilma and Bertello can be seen on exhibit daily adjacent to the African Bird Yard during normal Zoo hours.