Rare Paraguayan peccary triplets born earlier this month are now on view at the Los Angeles Zoo.
Once thought to be extinct, peccaries bear a striking resemblance to warthogs, though they are not part of the same family.
The animals, found mostly in Paraguay and Bolivia, have bushy coats and small feet that they use to roam through thorny terrain. Their pig-like snouts are good for digging up fruit and de-spining the cacti that are part of their diet.
The Los Angeles Zoo's newborn triplets -- their genders aren't yet known -- came into the world June 3 and are the first offspring from mother and father peccaries residing at the zoo.
The species is considered critically endangered, with a known population of 3,500 peccaries in the world. Scientists knew of their existence only through fossils prior to 1972, when live peccaries were discovered in Chaco, Paraguay.
The Los Angeles Zoo works with the Chaco Center for the Conservation and Research to preserve the rare species, which has seen its habitat destroyed by deforestation to make way for cattle ranching, oil exploration and road construction.
--City News Service