The line between ugly and cute is sometimes very fine, but a unique little critter recently born at a Texas zoo is already walking it.
“While some may describe these little ones as ‘ugly babies,’ we can’t help but find them irresistibly adorable with their unique and unconventional charm,” San Antonio Zoo President and CEO Tim Morrow said in a Jan. 1 Facebook post, sharing photos of the baby babirusa — a type of wild pig that inhabits the forests of Indonesia. “We can’t wait for the public to fall in love with this precious little babirusa.”
The newborn piglet can be seen huddling underneath its protective mother, Sula, photos show.
Many commenters gushed over the baby, calling it “cute,” “adorable,” even “a beauty.”
Others begged to differ.
“Your elephants are a little odd shaped,” one commenter wrote.
“Looks prehistoric,” said another.
And another commenter, perhaps trying to remain polite, simply said, “interesting.”
“The birth of this precious baby babirusa represents a testament to San Antonio Zoo’s commitment to conservation and education,” the zoo said. “As the first-ever babirusa birth at our zoo, it is a momentous occasion that highlights the dedication and expertise of our animal care team.”
With their furless gray bodies and long anteater-like snouts, babirusas bear little resemblance to other members of the hog family. The relationship is easier to see when looking at a male babirusa, which is equipped with two impressive sets of tusks jutting from its face, similar to a boar or warthog.
Like the pigs you know, babirusas are not picky eaters, according to the Los Angeles Zoo. They’re omnivorous, feeding on fruits and berries and leaves, but won’t turn down a meal of carrion or other sources of protein like insects.
Despite their hardiness and lack of any natural predators, the species is considered vulnerable due to habitat loss caused by mining and deforestation.
San Antonio Zoo officials have not announced a name for the piglet yet, or revealed the gender, but promises to do so in the days ahead.
“While we eagerly await the public debut of the new little one, the well-being and health of both mother and baby are our top priorities,” the post read. “In the coming weeks, the baby babirusa will continue to bond with its mother and grow, ensuring a strong foundation for its future.”