It is another exciting day at Nashville Zoo because we have a baby babirusa! The babirusa piglet was born on July 21, 2021, and her name is Garland. She spent her first few weeks with Tinsel (mom) behind-the-scenes and made her exhibit debut this morning. The piglet had a successful neonatal exam and we have got a healthy little girl!
The day before the piglet was born, Tinsel wanted to be out on exhibit but did not want to be around Dobby (dad). Tinsel spent her entire day staying busy and readying the space for the baby that was on the way. "She was wallowing in the mud repetitively throughout the day," said Lead Hoofstock Keeper, Nikole Edmunds. "And was building herself a nest."
Although Tinsel was reluctant to go off exhibit that day, she came in for the night and her keepers brought the nest inside with her. Keepers arrived the next morning and found one happy, healthy piglet. Tinsel has been very protective of her baby and keeper staff are giving her plenty of space to bond and grow comfortable with the piglet.
Tinsel has had piglets at previous zoos and has proven to be an excellent mother yet again. This baby babirusa was the first to be born at Nashville Zoo which brings the total number of babirusa in our care to three (Tinsel, Dobby, piglet). We have had our babirusas here at Nashville Zoo since December of 2020.
North Sulawesi babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis) are considered a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are native to the forests and wetlands of Indonesia. In efforts to spread awareness about babirusa and other endemic species, keepers are joining the Action Indonesia Global Species Management Plan for World Indonesia Day this August.
Stay tuned for updates on Garland via our social media channels and blog!