Pigs & Warthogs

North Sulawesi Babirusa Piglets Make First Visits to Habitat

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 14, 2022 — Brevard Zoo welcomed not one, but two north Sulawesi babirusa piglets on May 18! The offspring were born to 6-year-old mom Piggy and dad Meru. Although we are unsure of their sexes at this time, animal care staff note that both babies appear healthy and alert.

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Piglets Born At Amersfoort Zoo

DierenPark Amersfoort welcomes seven Bonte Bentheimer piglets. Mother Liv has given birth to her first litter. "It is always exciting how the delivery goes and how Liv reacts to her new offspring," says animal caretaker Marc Belt. “Everything seems to be going well. The youngsters are drinking well and carefully taking their first steps.”

Biggetjes geboren in DierenPark Amersfoort

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One Of The World’s Rarest Pigs Is Born At Chester Zoo

One of the world’s rarest pig species has been born at Chester Zoo.

The arrival of a Visayan warty piglet has given cause for celebration for keepers at the charity zoo, with as few as 200 now remaining in the wild.

The male newcomer arrived to mum Gwen (9) and dad Tre (10) on 16 November 2021 and now joins a family of five.

These forest-dwelling pigs are listed as critically endangered by the International Union of Conservation for Nature (IUCN).

The species has suffered a drastic population decline in the wild. Agricultural expansion and logging have devastated vast amounts of their native habitat in the Philippines, and they are also hunted for their meat and persecuted for raiding crops – making them one of the rarest wild pigs on the planet.

The latest addition to the breeding programme will be an ambassador for his relatives in the wild.

Mark Brayshaw, Curator of Mammals at Chester Zoo, said:

“It’s fantastic to see the birth of any animal, but when they’re critically endangered and fighting for survival in the wild, it makes it even more special. Baby piglets are incredibly energetic and playful, and so the whole group will certainly be kept very busy over the coming months!

“Visayan warty pigs aren’t just your average pig. During breeding season, males develop a long, protruding mane from their head, giving them a mohawk-like hairstyle. Both mum Gwen and dad Tre are named after punk rockers Gwen Stefani and Tre Cool as a result of this iconic look, and I’m sure it won’t be long until we’ve decided a suitable name to follow in that tradition.

“Every piglet is a vital addition to the breeding programme and will help champion the plight of this fascinating, charismatic species.”

Chester Zoo’s latest arrival is vitally important to the endangered species breeding programme which is looking to maintain a genetically viable population of Visayan warty pigs in zoos around Europe.

The Visayan warty pig was recently recognised as a species in its own right. Little is currently known about these animals in the wild and experts say that by working closely with them in the zoo, they can transfer knowledge to further support the animals in the wild.

Stuart Young, Regional Field Programme Manager for South East Asian Islands at Chester Zoo, explains:

“Working with Visayan warty pigs in the zoo gives us the opportunity to study these animals in a way we never would have been able to in the wild.

“However, the important knowledge gathered here at the zoo is then shared with our partners at the Talarak Foundation in Negros, the Philippines, and has helped with the reintroduction of 19 Visayan warty pigs back into the wild. The pigs were reintroduced to Bayawan Nature Reserve in Negros in July 2020, where the animals had been extinct for more than 10 years. We’re absolutely delighted to reveal that the population is now thriving and 10 piglets have been born since they were rehomed.

“Although pigs can sometimes be overlooked, and don’t gather the attention that other bigger mammals receive, they play a really important role in the ecosystem - which is why we must continue to prevent their extinction.”

Visayan warty pigs live in small social groups and communicate with squeaks, grunts and chirrups. Piglets take their mother’s milk for up to six months, moving on to a varied diet that includes roots, tubers and fruits. 

Chester Zoo was the first zoo in the UK to care for Visayan warty pigs, a species that gets its name from three pairs of fleshy warts on the boar’s face.

The breeding centre in the Philippines, and the nature reserve where the pigs were released, have recently been hit by a deadly typhoon causing damage to fences and buildings. Chester Zoo is supporting the Talarak Foundation with repair costs, but extra funding is needed.


Baby Babirusa Born at Nashville Zoo

A babirusa piglet was born on July 21, 2021, at Nashville Zoo and her name is Garland. She spent her first few weeks with Tinsel (mom) behind-the-scenes and made her exhibit debut in early August. The piglet had a successful neonatal exam and she is a healthy little girl! 

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The day before the piglet was born, Tinsel wanted to be out on exhibit but did not want to be around Dobby (dad). Tinsel spent her entire day staying busy and readying the space for the baby that was on the way. "She was wallowing in the mud repetitively throughout the day," said Lead Hoofstock Keeper, Nikole Edmunds. "And was building herself a nest."

Although Tinsel was reluctant to go off exhibit that day, she came in for the night and her keepers brought the nest inside with her. Keepers arrived the next morning and found one happy, healthy piglet. Tinsel has been very protective of her baby and keeper staff are giving her plenty of space to bond and grow comfortable with the piglet.

Tinsel has had piglets at previous zoos and has proven to be an excellent mother yet again. This baby babirusa was the first to be born at Nashville Zoo which brings the total number of babirusa in Nashville Zoo’s care to three (Tinsel, Dobby, piglet). Nashville Zoo has had babirusa since December of 2020. 

North Sulawesi babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis) are considered a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are native to the forests and wetlands of Indonesia. In efforts to spread awareness about babirusa and other endemic species, keepers are joining the Action Indonesia Global Species Management Plan for World Indonesia Day this August.


Red River Hoglets Born at Toronto Zoo

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Photo Credit: The Toronto Zoo

A pair of Red River Hogs was born at The Toronto Zoo on February 17, and the zoo announced their arrival on National Pig Day, March 1.

The two hoglets were born to mom Tisa and dad Sir Philip Pigglesworth III. The care team says Tisa is providing expert care for her babies. This is the first litter for both parents, and the third litter of Red River Hogs born in the zoo’s history.

Tisa and her hoglets are behind the scenes in a maternity den, so they can’t yet be seen by zoo visitors. The hoglets spend the day nursing and exploring the den.

Red River Hogs are one of the most colorful members of the Pig family. They are native to western and central Africa, where they search for roots and tubers on the forest floor. As their name suggests, these Hogs often live near lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Red River Hogs live in small harems, with a single adult male and a few females with their young.

At this time, Red River Hogs are not under threat and populations are stable.


Nashville Zoo Welcomes Four Little Pigs

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Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the arrival of four Juliana Pigs. The Zoo welcomed three females (who were born in the same litter) and a male sired by the same father as the females.

These little pigs will stay in the Zoo’s “Critter Encounters”, so guests can interact with them, and they will also be trained to take leashed-walks throughout the Zoo. Other than during colder months where they will have access to a heated indoor area, they will be able to choose to be out and active or retreat into their house when they need to rest.

“We hope when guests interact with our Juliana Pigs they will be inspired to help other species of pigs that are declining in the wild once they see firsthand how intelligent and special pigs are,” said Megan Cohn, Nashville Zoo Contact Area Supervisor.

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4_46148675825_c33d9f6b26_kPhoto Credits: Becky Hardy/Nashville Zoo

Juliana Pigs' intelligence, along with their easy-going temperament and ability to get along with other animals and people, make them great ambassador animals allowing the public to get close and interact with a pig.

They also have an excellent sense of smell. A pig’s nose ends in a floating disk of cartilage attached to muscles, which makes it more sensitive than the human nose. The nose is also strengthened by a pre-nasal bone, which enhances the nose as a digging tool. Pigs are often trained for truffle & mushroom hunting, as well as recently used for law enforcement searches.

Domestic populations of pigs are stable, but some wild populations are endangered. Pigs in general are native to Europe and Asia, but were later introduced as domesticated animals and can now be found throughout the world.

Juliana Pigs (Sus domesticus) are a breed of domestic pig that originated in Europe through selective breeding of various types of pigs. Humans have been raising pigs for more than 9,000 years.

A mature Juliana Pig will weigh between 20-40lbs and be between 10-16" tall. This species does 95% percent of its growing during the first year and is considered an adult at two years. Juliana Pigs more closely resemble a small version of a feral pig than it does the Pot Belly pig.

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Chester Zoo Has ‘Colorful’ New Trio

1_!Stars in stripes! Trio of red river hoglets born at Chester Zoo (28)

A trio of Red River Hogs was recently born at Chester Zoo. The tiny triplets arrived to mum Mali on May 4, following a four-month-long pregnancy.

The piglets stayed safely tucked in their den, bonding with mum, for the first few weeks of life, but they can now be seen on-exhibit, frolicking in the sun. According to keepers, the piglets are yet-to-be-sexed and yet-to-be-named.

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3_Stars in stripes! Trio of red river hoglets born at Chester Zoo (30)

4_!Stars in stripes! Trio of red river hoglets born at Chester Zoo (41)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

Red River Hogs are instantly recognizable for their bright red fur, which helps them blend into their Sub-Saharan African habitat. This coloring has made the pigs renowned as being the world’s most colorful member of the pig family.

They are native to the swamps and forests of West and Central Africa, but hunting for their meat has led to a decline in numbers where they were once commonly found.

Sarah Roffe, team manager at the Zoo, said, “It’s early days, but the piglets are doing great so far. They’re so small at the moment and their coats are covered in spots and stripes, which will slowly start to fade after about six months when they’ll take on their more iconic rusty coloring.”

“The trio are sticking very close to mum Mali (age 9), but it’s great to see them spending time with dad Con-Fetti. In fact, they can often be seen enjoying a nap whilst sat on top of him.”

Sarah continued, “This is the pairings first set of triplets, so they’ll soon be a real handful for mum and dad as they become more adventurous and playful. It’s amazing to see the family of seven together!”

Conservationists at Chester Zoo are keen to develop a greater understanding of how to care for the species in conservation breeding programmes, should the worst happen to the species and they become extinct in the wild.

Red River Hogs (Potamochoerus porcus) are also known as "tufted pigs" due to the white whiskers and tufts found on their ears. They are currently classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

More great pics, below the fold!

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Warthog Piglets Debut at Zoo Miami

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Four Warthog piglets, born June 20 at Zoo Miami, made their exhibit debut this week alongside their parents. At six weeks old, the piglets (one female and three males) explored the exhibit, rooted around in the soil, and tasted fresh vegetation under the watchful eyes of mom and dad.

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9Photo Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

Three-year-old mother Erica came from the Indianapolis Zoo and three-year-old father Beebop is from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This litter of piglets is the first for both parents and the second successful birth of Warthogs at Zoo Miami.

Warthogs are found through much of sub-Saharan Africa and skyrocketed to fame following the release of “The Lion King,” which starred a lovable Warthog named Pumba.

Warthogs use their large, powerful tusks to dig for roots, tubers, and grubs to eat. Males develop larger tusks than females and use their tusks in combat to establish dominance. The tusks also offer protection: Warthogs enter their burrows rear-first, allowing the tusks to face outward at the burrow entrance to deter predators.

The large facial bumps or “warts” are not warts at all. Instead, they are fatty growths which protect Warthogs’ faces from the tusks of other Warthogs during skirmishes.

Warthogs are fairly numerous across their range. They are not currently threatened, but some localized extinctions have been recorded due to overhunting or drought.

See more photos of the piglets below!

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"Pocket-sized" Piglets Born at Chester Zoo

!Tiny trotters! Red river hog piglets born at Chester Zoo (4)Two “pocket-sized” Piglets have been born at Chester Zoo.  The tiny pair of Red River Hogs, which are as yet unsexed and unnamed, arrived on May 13 to first-time mother Mali, age 8, following a four-month-long pregnancy. 

Red River Hogs live in swamps and forests in western and central Africa and are said to be the most colorful member of the Pig family. They are also the smallest of all African pigs. 

!Tiny trotters! Red river hog piglets born at Chester Zoo (13)
!Tiny trotters! Red river hog piglets born at Chester Zoo (1)Photo Credit: Chester Zoo


Sarah Roffe, team manager, said, “We’re ever so pleased with our delightful duo and mum Mali is so far doing a fantastic job of caring for them. They’re only pocket-sized Piglets at the moment but they’re already full of personality and have bundles of energy.”

The Piglets will sport the spotted and striped coats of juveniles until they’re about six months old. At that time, they’ll take on the distinctive rusty coloring of adults.

Once common in their range, Red River Hogs are declining in some areas due to overhunting for their meat.

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Wroclaw Welcomes Litter of Red River Hogs

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Zoo Wrocław is excited to announce the birth of a litter of Red River Hogs. Three piglets were born on April 3rd. The matriarch of the herd, and new mother, is Petunia. Petunia arrived at Zoo Wroclaw from Brooklyn, NYC, and her partner, Jumbo, arrived from France.

The Zoo is eager to find names for the new youngsters and is willing to accept any and all suggestions for names! Suggestions can be made to their social media page: https://www.facebook.com/wroclawskiezoo/ and their website: http://www.zoo.wroclaw.pl/  

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4_17796774_10155198544934719_2576291454719781431_nPhoto Credits: Zoo Wroclaw/Pawlik

The Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus) is a wild member of the pig family native to the Guinean and Congolian forests of Africa. It is rarely seen away from rainforests, and generally prefers areas near rivers or swamps.

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