News

Rare Chacoan Peccaries, a.k.a. Cute Pigs, Make New Home At Queens Zoo

Chacoan Peccarie (credit: Julie Larsen Maher)

Chacoan Peccarie (credit: Julie Larsen Maher)

FLUSHING, N.Y. – (CBSNewYork) - Visitors are going hog-wild for a new species at the Queens Zoo.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo is now home to a trio of Chacoan peccaries, a species found only in a remote dry forest in South America.

“It is very exciting to announce the arrival of these amazing and rare animals,” said Scott Silver, Director of the Queens Zoo. “This was a species that was not even known to still exist a few decades ago. Now, being able to show them to New Yorkers helps us further our goal of educating and enlightening people about the need to help save wildlife and habitats around the world.”

julie larsen maher 4920 chacoan peccaries qz 04 17 12 Rare Chacoan Peccaries, a.k.a. Cute Pigs, Make New Home At Queens Zoo

Chacoan Peccaries (credit: Julie Larsen Maher )

The all male peccaries are named Walker, Palito, and Chili. They each weigh roughly 60 pounds and have a grayish-brown coat that is interspersed with long coarse hairs.

There are approximately only 3,000 left in the wild. They are on the endangered species list primarily to habitat loss and over-hunting.

At the zoo, the peccaries eat fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, and kale. They can be seen on the zoo’s Wild Side, near other animals native to South America, including Andean bears and pudu deer.

Will you visit the zoo to see the peccaries? Let us know below.