Zoo Miami is proud to announce the birth of four African Warthogs! Three males and one female were born on June 20th.
Zoo staff were recently able to separate the mother from her newborns for a few minutes to perform a neonatal exam on each of them. The quick exam confirmed their sex and helped to insure that they have an excellent start in life. The preliminary reports indicate that all four piglets appear to be healthy and developing well.
The three-year-old mother, Erica, is from the Indianapolis Zoo, and the three-year-old father, Beebop, was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. These are the first offspring for both parents, but it is the second successful birth of Warthogs at Zoo Miami. The Zoo’s first birth occurred in 1995.
The mother will remain off-exhibit with her piglets for several days to insure that they have bonded properly and are well acclimated to their surroundings prior to going on public display.
Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) are found through much of sub-Saharan Africa. Though not naturally aggressive, these wild pigs are quite capable of protecting themselves with large, powerful tusks, which they normally use to tear up the ground in search of roots and grubs and to establish dominance between them. Males develop considerably larger tusks than the females.
The name “warthog” is a bit misleading; the protrusions that come out of the sides of their head are not actual warts, but rather fatty, granular tissue.
Though warthogs appear ferocious, they are basically grazers. They eat grasses and plants, and also use their snouts to dig or “root” for roots or bulbs. When startled or threatened, Warthogs can be surprisingly fast, running at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.
The African Warthog is currently classified as “Least Concern” by the IUCN. However, the species is susceptible to drought and hunting. The Warthog is currently present in numerous protected areas across its range.