These little piglets may not be especially exotic, but they are a welcome addition to the Zoo Basel family. As well as these "mini-schweinn", the zoo is home to a variety of animals of the porcine persuasion (if only by name) including Wild Boar, Porcupines, and Guinea Pigs.
Pigs & Warthogs
On August 23, the Los Angeles Zoo welcomed two Chacoan Peccary piglets. This relative of the pig is native to Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. They were thought to be extinct until 1972 when biologists found the species hidden away in a secluded section of Paraguay.
In the wild, low growing species of cactus make up most of the peccary’s diet. Like hogs, peccaries have a well-developed snout used to root out bulbs, roots, tubers and rhizomes of a variety of plants. Unlike the domestic pig, the peccary is a slow and dainty eater; they do not devour their food rapidly.
Hamton the pig had a busy spring at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, cozying up with not one but two charming Guinea Hog sows, Jodie and Olivia. This past week, both sows gave birth to big litters, eight and six respectively, making Hamton the proud father of fourteen little piglets! Guinea Hogs are a domestic breed that was once the most prevalent in the American Southeast, but today their are only about 200 individuals left.
The Chester Zoo in the U.K. has 3 little Visayan Warty Piglets to be proud of. Critically endangered in the wild, Visayan Warty Pigs are endemic to two islands in the central Philippines. Named for what scientists believe to be protective tissue covering three areas on its face, the species is maintained by only 6 zoos in Europe.
If you had to give out an award for the prettiest of all pigs, the Red River Hog would be a top contender. While the little hoglets don't have the orange-red fur of their parents, they do sport fashion forward camouflage stripes. These three little pigs were born at the LA Zoo at the end of May. Definitely worth a visit if you live in the area. On a sidenote, I think the music in the video is perfectly suited for piggy adventuring.
Miniature piglets at Taronga Zoo's Backyard to Bush’s farmyard are keeping their little trotters warm. The eight tiny piglets were born almost two weeks ago and are staying dry in their parents’ straw-filled shelter.
Photo Credits: Lorinda Taylor / Taronga Zoo
There's a lot of activity In the nursery of Arizona's Wildlife World Zoo. Among the bevy of beastly babies is a quartet of very young Warthog piglets. Photographed earlier this month by Arizona reader Nicki Miller, the hoglets look harmless now (and likely will remain that way!) but they will grows tusks of up to 9 inches long. Their wild cousins use these chompers for digging, for combat with other hogs, and in defence against predators.
Photo Credits: Nicki Miller
In the early morning hours of April 1, Red River hog mom Mvula gave birth to her second litter of adorable little Red River hoglets at the Calgary Zoo! The three babies and mom are now ready to come out to play after spending time bonding in their off display nursery over the past two weeks. ZooBorns covered Mvula's first batch of little piglets in April of last year.
Photo and video credits: Calgary Zoo
Adult Red River hogs get their name from their red coat and because their natural habitat is in the wetland areas of Central and Eastern Africa. The hoglets' camouflage coats make them look kind of like little orange watermelons!
Zoo Basel's children's zoo welcomed eight miniature piglets this week or, as they call them, mini-schwein. While not exactly exotic, the tiny piglets are the size of small puppies and have proven to be an absolute delight for the Swiss children lucky enough to see them.
On April 16, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo welcomed eight little Guinea Hog piglets. Although Guinea Hogs are rare today, they were once a common domesticated hog throughout the Southeastern United States.
Photo Credits: Shannon Calvert