The Greater Vancouver Zoo is celebrating Chinese New Year’s Year of the Pig with a showcase of their four spunky, red river hogs.
The wild hog species originated in Africa and are estimated to weigh around 155-pounds each
“They’re little tanks, and each one definitely has their own personality,” said Menita Prasad, the zoo’s Animal Care Manager.
Prasad is leading the charge to not only make this new year’s celebrations about family fun but educating visitors—young and old—about the importance of conservation efforts.
“We want to inspire the public to do something, people aren’t always aware of the plight that animals are currently facing in the wild,” she said.
— Greater Vancouver Zoo (@GVZooChat) February 1, 2019
Some of the greatest risks to nearly-extinct species like the Oregon Spotted Frog and the Western Painted Turtle are an unintended result of human activity, namely agriculture.
“The zoo believes we all need to act to counter the shocking truth that we are losing animal species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate,” the facility released in a public statement.
“British Columbians should embrace the Year of the Pig as the time to act for wildlife conservation,” the report reads.
Festivities will take place the first two weekends of February (2-3rd, 9-10th). They will include daily talks on the in-house hogs as well as themed crafts and animal enrichments.
The zoo is offering a 15 per cent entry discount to groups that include anyone born during the Year of the Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019).
Proceeds from the festivities will go to support its work alongside local organizations—headstarting populations of endangered frogs and turtles to be released into the Fraser Valley, along with other local conservation initiatives.