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Photograph: ZSL

London Zoo has welcomed its first ever Indonesian ‘demon pigs’

They’re called Budi and Beth. They’re not actually demons, amazingly

Isabelle Aron

ZSL London Zoo has recently welcomed two new young animals. If you’re thinking: Oh, cute! Well… just back up a second. Because these creatures have a nickname, and it’s ‘demon pigs’. Yes, really.

Named Budi and Beth, the pigs hail from Indonesia where they’re referred to as ‘rat pigs’ or ‘demon pigs’ because of their long tusks, which aren’t actually tusks – they’re teeth growing through their noses that curl backwards. Yikes. 

In fact, their official breed name is ‘babirusa’, which doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as ‘demon pig’.

Beth has just turned two and Budi is a one-year-old and, while he doesn’t have them yet, he’ll eventually develop those crooked tusks – which are certainly a #lewk.

As well as teeth growing through their noses, the pigs have wrinkly grey skin and long snouts. Oh, and they’re hairless. Still, looks aren’t everything, and the zookeepers have welcomed them at London Zoo, where they’ve been teaching them how to swim.

Keeper Hannah Joy said: ‘With their wrinkly grey skin and long wet snouts, no one could call babirusa pigs beautiful.’ She added that they’ve been settling into their new home well. ‘They’ve been busy building their own nests out of straw, rolling around in their mud wallow and have even bravely dipped a hoof into their new swimming pool.’

One thing’s for sure: a demon pig is a real 2020 mood. We’re sure they’ll fit right in.

Want the chance to get up close to the demon pigs? London Zoo is looking for volunteers to help out.

In other animal news, there will be an ‘Architecture for Dogs’ exhibit at this year’s London Design Festival.

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