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Reading Practice: Intermediate Stories with Questions

Visayan Warty Pig


1. This is a Visayan Warty Pig, a rare species of pig from the Visayan islands in the Philippines. Like all pigs, they have a round, robust appearance. When they fear danger to their young, they can be vigorous in their attack on the intruder. However, because of habitat loss, food shortages, and over-hunting, they are a critically endangered species. While they used to be found on six islands, they are now found on only two.

2. The Visayan Warty Pig is named for three fleshy warts that are on its face. Scientists believe that these warts protect the pigs from the tusks of their fellows. They also have short, spikey hair which protects their bodies. They have long, narrow snouts, and, like most pigs, have a good sense of smell. In the wild, they live in groups of four to six and eat fruits and roots.

3. When they have babies, there are three to four in a litter. The piglets are often seen during the dry season which happens between January and March. Because this species is endangered, little more is known about their habits in the wild. Local farmers continue to clear land for crops. The pigs try to eat the crops, which makes them a nuisance to the farmers. The farmed land also does not regrow at the same rate as natural forest.
4. Conservation programs in the Philippines, Europe, and the United States allow these animals to be preserved in zoos. Though they are resilient, hardy animals, they cannot survive without a habitat. Though pigs are often viewed as slovenly because of their capacity to eat many things and bathe in mud, Visayan Warty Pigs are quite neat and have a more exact diet than do domestic pigs in the west.

Answer the questions (answers are at the bottom of the page):

1. What is the main idea of this story?

A. Visayan Warty Pigs are robust and resilient.
B. Visayan Warty Pigs are endangered.
C. Visayan Warty Pigs are an endangered species of pig from the Philippine islands.
D. Visayan Warty Pigs are unique.

2. What is an inference, not a fact, from the story?

A. Local people are not concerned with the survival of the pigs.
B. Farmers are clearing the land, which leads to habitat loss.
C. Some pigs live in zoos in the Philippines, Europe and the U.S.
D. The pigs actually have three warts on their faces.

3. What is a fact, not an inference, from the story?

A. It is necessary to protect this endangered species.
B. The piglets are often seen during the dry season.
C. During the dry season, there is plenty of food for the pigs.
D. During the rainy season, the pigs have trouble finding food.

4. What does "rare" mean?

A. not small in number
B. not often found
C. not named
D. not known

5. What does "nuisance" mean?

A. something that is new
B. something that makes noise
C. something that is nonchallant
D. something that creates problems

6. Match the words with the definitions.

vigorous                  a. able to rebound
resilient                   b. strong, healthy
robust                      c. slight
slovenly                   d. strong, full of life
narrow                     e. messy

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Answers: 1. c, 2. a, 3. b, 4. b, 5. d, 6. vigorous: d, resilient: a, robust: b, slovenly: e, narrow: c