Peccaries

Rare Peccary Born at Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Peccarry 1_sm_logoWith 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.

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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. 


When Pigs Fly! Endangered Peccaries Born at San Francisco Zoo

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A litter of six Chacoan Peccary pups was born at San Francisco Zoo in early November. They are busy playing and exploring their outdoor habitat, in the company of the zoo's adult herd. The little ones love to leap and run in circles, an adorable behavior sometimes referred to as 'frisky hopping'. 

Chacoan Peccaries are an endangered species of New World pig, found in the dry shrub habitats of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. They are threatened by loss of habitat and illegal hunting. Social animals, they live together in territorial groups, often extended families. They eat plants, including cacti, which they roll along the ground with their snouts to remove the thorns. 

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8 peccaryPhoto credits above the fold: Sandi Wong

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Meet Milo, São Paulo Zoo's Collared Peccary Piglet

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On March 24, São Paulo Zoo in Brazil welcomed a new Collared Peccary to the park! The male piglet was named Milo by the biologists who take care of him. Milo was born weighing only 740 grams, and in his first days, he was bottle-fed with milk specially prepared with all the appropriate nutrients needed for his healthy growth. Now three months old, he already eats tubers, fruits, seeds, and leaves. Peccaries can reach up to 55 pounds (25 kg) when adults, and gestation lasts about 145 days, with the mother giving birth to one or two piglets.

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Photo credits: São Paulo Zoo / Carlos Nader

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