2 rare mammals, Chacoan peccaries, born in Prague zoo

Science

This picture taken on May 8, 2019, shows two newly born Chacoan peccaries in their enclosure at the Prague zoo, Czech Republic. Prague’s zoo says two Chacoan peccaries have been born in the park in May for the first time, a welcome step in efforts to save a species that was once considered long extinct. (Petr Hamernik/Zoo Praha via AP)

PRAGUE (AP) — Prague’s zoo says two Chacoan peccaries have been born there for the first time, a vital step in efforts to save an endangered species that was once considered extinct.

The Chacoan peccary is a wild pig-like mammal whose existence was described in 1930 based on fossils that dated to the Pleistocene epoch.

In the early 1970s a small population was discovered in an isolated area on the border of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.

Due to overhunting, deforestation and disease, the population of several thousand has been shrinking, prompting European zoos to launch a program for its survival.

So far only Berlin’s Tierpark zoo has managed to regularly breed them while one was born in the Planckendael zoo in Belgium.

There are currently 37 Chacoan peccaries in seven European zoos.

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