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Last Updated: Monday April 19 2010 13:56 GMT

Rare pigs are mistaken for sheep

Mangalitza pigs

These furry pigs look pretty unusual - in fact they're so woolly they've been mistaken for sheep at their home in Essex!

They're a really rare breed of pig that has curly, woolly hair on its back.

The three pigs were imported to the UK in 2006 to start a special programme that, it's hoped, will save the breed.

The three Mangalitza pigs are called Buddy, Margot and Porsche, and the staff at Tropical Wings zoo reckon Porsche might be pregnant already.

The breed is thought to be native to Austria and Hungary, and loads of visitors don't realise they're pigs: "At first sight people perhaps think they are sheep" said Denise Cox who works at the zoo.

Mangalitza pigs
Porsche might be pregnant

"It's not until they turn around and you see their faces and snouts that you realise they are in fact pigs."

She added: "The woolly coat makes them very hardy. In the summer it's thought that it may help to protect them from sunburn."




How much do you know about the porky creatures?