On April 3, 2016 the adult pair of Red River Hogs at the Sacramento Zoo welcomed two female hoglets and two males, each weighing between 2 and 2.5 pounds. Inspired by Star Wars, zookeepers have named the two males Poe and Kylo, and the females have been named Finn and Rey.
The quad recently explored their exhibit for the first time with mom and dad. The family has access to their yard and off-exhibit dens.
When fully grown, the hogs will weigh between 120 and 250 pounds and reach three to five feet in length. Until about three months of age, hoglets are brown with yellowish stripes. This coloring serves as effective camouflage in the wild. Adult Red River Hogs are best known for their long ears with hair tufts and reddish-brown fur.
Native to the dense tropical forests of Central to West Africa, localized Red River Hog populations are in decline due to subsistence hunting for food, being killed as agricultural pests, and the commercial bushmeat trade.
The Sacramento Zoo’s participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Red River Hog SSP program contributes directly to the species’ long-term survival.
**Zoo fans can become a Red River Hog Zoo Parent for a donation of $80. They will receive a photo of the youngsters, a plush hog, and more! Follow this link for more info: http://www.saczoo.org/page.aspx?pid=296
Like most porcine (pig) species, Red River Hogs are very social animals, living in small groups of six to 20 members. Each group is led by a male (boar) and made up of sows with piglets. Different groups will sometimes merge to form larger groups of 60 or so individuals and maintain a fairly large territory of over two square miles.
Mostly nocturnal, these hogs hide in dense bushes during the daytime. If they are in an area with few predators and the group feels safe, they can be seen grazing during the daylight hours. More commonly, Red River Hogs set out in groups in search of food once the sun sets. Omnivorous by nature, these pigs will eat most anything they come into contact with. They have an excellent sense of smell, paired with a strong snout.
A pregnant female will make her own nest (a fairly large and deep depression hidden deep in the grasses) and line it with vegetation. Although the female is the primary caregiver for the piglets, they do receive a fair amount of attention from the dominant male, who will waste no time defending the offspring. After a few days, the young are able to leave the nest, and the female and piglets rejoin the main group. (A group of wild pigs is called a “sounder”.)
Although they cannot hold their breath for long periods of time, Red River Hogs are great swimmers.