With only 3,000 Chacoan Peccaries remaining in the wild, each birth is important. That’s why Fresno Chaffee Zoo is celebrating the arrival of a Chacoan Peccary on March 28.
The baby’s gender and weight won’t be known until the staff performs a wellness check in a few weeks.
Also known as Taguas, Chacoan Peccaries are native only to the Gran Chaco of South America – an arid region covering parts of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. At one time, Chacoan Peccaries were thought to be extinct, but a small population was discovered in 1971.
Chacoan Paccaries are well-adapted for life in the dry desert, where they feed on mainly on cacti. To remove the spines from the plants, Peccaries use their snouts to rub pieces of cacti on the ground. They may also pull spines from the cacti with their teeth. Their digestive system is able to break down the tough, acidic cactus plants.
As roads are built, the Gran Chaco is no longer isolated and Peccary herds are decreasing. As their habitat is fragmented, these unique creatures are becoming more and more rare. Chacoan Peccaries are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.