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Two Pot-bellied Peas in a Pod

Posted by Hattie Potter, Development
Photos by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, Woodland Park Zoo

As stars of the zoo's educational programs, ambassador animals help build guests' empathy for animals and inspire them to take action for wildlife. Pot-bellied pigs, Annabelle and Bailey, are two members of the zoo's ambassador animals team. Animal keeper, Bree, answers our questions about these sisters and helps us get to know these playful pigs.

What are the names and ages of our pot-bellied pigs?
Annabelle and Bailey are sisters who were born on July 19, 2016, making them 7 years old.Where were they born?
Bailey and Annabelle were born at a local farm. They joined the zoo's Ambassador Animals team at only 5 months old!

When they were weeeeee little pigs!

And then a lot bigger!

How do you tell them apart?
Both pigs have distinct patterns of pink and gray colorations on their skin. Bailey has a lot more pink on her shoulders and head and that's how she's often distinguished from Annabelle. Annabelle's eyes are much brighter than Bailey's.

What are their favorite treats and snacks?
Both girls enjoy eating apples and blueberries. They are also occasionally treated to air popped popcorn as a reward during training exercises!

Do they get along and share their space well?
Just like many siblings, these two have the occasional disagreement. For the most part though, these sisters get along very well and often sleep snuggled together in their barn!

Do they have a favorite spot where they like to hang out?
When the sun is shining, they are sure to be found lying in the sunniest spot in their yard. When the weather doesn't cooperate with these plans, Annabelle and Bailey snuggle up under the heaters in their barn.

How can zoo visitors see Bailey and Annabelle?
Their habitat is located next to the Wildlife Theater and when the weather is warm, you may see them grazing from afar. The best way to see these animated pigs is to come to our Keeping it Wild shows at the Wildlife Theater during the summer and to training demonstrations on weekends throughout the winter. Bailey and Annabelle often make guest appearances!

What actions can people take to help pot-bellied pigs?
Pigs are incredible, charismatic animals but they need a lot of space, training and special care to thrive. All of this can make it very challenging to care for them properly as pets. It's also important to remember just how large pigs can grow to be. Did you know that there's no such thing as a "teacup pig?" That name is often used to describe very small piglets who will eventually grow to be hundreds of pounds! Being thoughtful of our pet choices helps ensure animals like pigs are provided with the environment and resources they need to thrive.

What's the funniest thing you've seen the pot-bellied pigs do?
It's very funny to watch them run! Their little legs move surprisingly fast and each sister has a distinct way of running that really highlights their individual personalities. Annabelle is very quick, always leaving Bailey in the dust. Bailey doesn't seem to mind and seems content just trotting along at a leisurely pace.

What would surprise people to know about these animals?
Pigs absolutely love scratches! When Annabelle and Bailey get scratch downs, they get so relaxed that they flop over onto their sides to make for easier scratching access. 

What is something that only these animals' care team knows about them?
These two are alike in how sweet and fun they are but are very different socially. Bailey is very open to different people bringing her snacks even if she's not familiar with them. Annabelle needs more time to build trust with new care staff. Investing that time with her is so worth it though because once she gets to know you, she wags her tail whenever you're around!

Can you tell us one thing you love the most about working with the pot-bellied pigs?
I love working with Bailey and Annabelle because they're so intelligent and keep each of their trainers on their toes with their quick thinking and Annabelle's quick pace.

P.S. This inside scoop on Annabelle and Bailey was first sent out to donors as a special thank you for their gift! Consider donating monthly: your monthly gift supports more than 800 animals at Woodland Park Zoo as they connect with millions of guests each year, educating, engaging and inspiring environmental action. Help share the story of these animals and the existential threats they face while helping to give them the best quality of life possible.