Zoo piglets' bacon saved after protest

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A CAMPAIGN to save three endangered red river hog piglets has proven to be one of the shortest in history after Edinburgh Zoo bosses said they would do their "utmost" to find a new home for the trio.

&#149 Ellis, Moses and Nelson have won a reprieve

Bosses said they would do everything they could to relocate Ellis, Moses and Nelson after the Evening News yesterday revealed they were under threat because there was a "surplus" of the species.

The zoo previously claimed it had to carry out cullings recommended by a worldwide breeding programme.

Previously, two piglets, Sammi and Becca, were put to sleep after they were deemed "surplus to requirement".

The announcement that the latest litter might be culled left charities and residents furious, sparking a national campaign.

Thousands of people joined the Save The Hogs internet campaign.

One insider said: "I'm glad the zoo are rehoming them. Saying that, they tried and failed to rehome the last pair."

A zoo spokeswoman said the organisation would do "absolutely everything" possible to rehome the piglets.

She said: "We comply to the regulations and recommendations of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), however we always make every effort to rehome all animals wherever possible.

"We do appreciate this is a sensitive issue, but it is jointly a very complicated issue."

Animal rights charity OneKind welcomed the U-turn. Ross Minett, science and research manager, said: "We share the concerns. These aren't just unwanted by-products with no value that can be disposed of.

"We urge anybody who might be able to offer a suitable long-term home for these animals to get in touch with the zoo."

The zoo confirmed parent hogs Bella and Hamish would be allowed to continue to breed, even if the piglets were deemed a "surplus" of the species.

A spokesman for the EEP said it made recommendations about animals, but zoos made the final decisions.

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