Pigs & Warthogs

These Little Piggies. . .Were Born at the Odense Zoo

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Denmark’s Odense Zoo welcomed five Miniature Pig babies on November 20.  The Piglets are thriving under the care of their mother, and are getting accustomed to their home in the zoo’s farmhouse.

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10835297_10152853438769647_6364185212782523283_oPhoto Credit:  Odense Zoo

Miniature Pigs are popular as pets or on small farms, and though they can weigh up to 200 pounds as adults, are far smaller than a typical domestic pig.  Pigs are intelligent animals and can be house-trained and to perform behaviors. 

Like all Pigs, Miniature Pigs have an excellent sense of smell.  They use their stubby snouts to dig for roots and tubers, and will also feed on a variety of plant material and small animals.

See more photos of the Piglets below.

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Rare Warty Piglet Born at Chester Zoo

WartyPig-14One of the world’s rarest wild Pigs has been born at the United Kingdom’s Chester Zoo.  Only about 200 Visayan Warty Pigs remain in their native habitat in the Philippines.

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WartyPig-11Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo

The baby, whose gender is not yet known, sports yellow and brown stripes which act as camouflage.  The stripes will disappear at around 9-12 months.

Zoo keeper Lucy Edwards said, “Visayan Warty Pigs are critically endangered and face an extremely high risk of becoming extinct in the wild."

“They’ve suffered a drastic population crash in recent times with widespread commercial logging, illegal logging and agricultural expansion devastating vast amounts of their natural habitat. They’re also being over-hunted and their meat can often command at least double the price of domestic pork in local markets and some restaurants.”

These wild Pigs get their name from the three pairs of fleshy warts on the boar's face. The warts protect them from rival Pigs' tusks during a fight.

Visayan Warty Pigs are small, forest-dwelling Pigs that feed on roots, fruits, and some cultivated crops.  Little is known about their wild habits.  They are found only in the small patches of remaining forest on the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines.

Chester Zoo’s latest arrival is vitally important to the breeding program which seeks to maintain a genetically viable population of Visayan Warty Pigs in zoos around Europe.  The zoo also provides financial assistance for an education and breeding program in the Philippines.


African Red River Hog Piglets Are a First for Zoo Miami

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Zoo Miami is celebrating the birth of five African Red River Hogs! The three males and two females were born on February 28 and are the first of this species ever born at Zoo Miami. 

The first-time mother, three-year-old Penny, was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The first-time father is two-year-old Baloo, who was born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The mother and her piglets are presently separated from the rest of the group and will remain off-exhibit for a little while until the staff feel that mother and babies have bonded well and are secure with their surroundings.  Penny is being an excellent mother and is very attentive to the piglets. 

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1 hogPhoto credit: Zoo Miami

See and read more after the fold!

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Meet Tiergarten Delitzsch's Pot-bellied Piglet!

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Tiergarten Delitzsch has a new mud-loving favorite: a fist-sized Pot-bellied Piglet. Born in late May, the piglet, whose sex is not yet determined, was the only one out of five to survive birth complications. Fortunately, the mother is doing well and is taking good care of her offspring. The week-old piglet has been ransacking mud puddles to its heart's content alongside its parents. 

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Photo credits: Tiergarten Delitzsch

See more photos after the fold!

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Eight Miniature Piglets for Zoo Basel

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Miniature Pigs Jack and Jill, both five years old, became parents to eight piglets on April 22 at Switzerland’s Zoo Basel.  The eight youngsters (three boys and five girls) are all black except for one which is pink with black spots. 

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Basel

Jack and Jill are experienced parents, giving birth once or twice a year.  This litter of eight piglets is a large one, so it’s pretty crowded when all eight want to nurse at the same time.  Keepers report that Jill’s top row of teats is the most sought-after, and the piglets argue with each other to see who gets the coveted spots.  The piglets are certainly getting enough to eat, because they’ve already more than doubled their birth weight! 

Miniature Pigs are small domestic Pigs, and are popular as household pets.

See more porcine pictures below the fold.

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Two Little Pigs Born at Belfast Zoo Help Preserve Their Species

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On Saturday, October 13, Belfast Zoological Gardens celebrated the arrival of twin Visayan Warty Piglets. Parents Malcolm and Mabel arrived in Belfast in 2010 as part of a European breeding program; Belfast Zoo is one of only four zoos in the UK to look after this species.

Zoo Manager Mark Challis said “We first bred Visayan Warty Pigs in 2011 and we are delighted that this success has continued with the recent birth of our twins. Visayan Warty Pigs are the most critically endangered of all wild pigs. They were once native to six islands in the Philippines but are now extinct on four of these. In fact, approximately 95% of this pigs’ natural habitat has been cleared away by local farmers who cut down the forest for farm use. It is therefore imperative that zoos play an active role in the conservation of this amazing species.”

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Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo


A Single Red River Hog Baby Born at Berlin Zoo

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On September 1 this little Red River Hog was born in a padded corner nest filled with wood shavings at the Berlin Zoo. Mom Dagmba lay on her side to encourage the baby to nurse, and somehow the baby, who did not have to fight with any siblings or share milk, ended up choosing the most out-of-reach teat. 

This lively little one, named Tonka by his keepers, has already begun to follow his mother outside into their habitat when the weather permits. When mom sits down or stops, Tonka hugs her side, where he feels safest. The rest of the gang, Boar pig Kivu, Tomu and sow Gundi, are curious, but the baby will not be introduced to them for a few more days; Keepers are letting mom and baby be for now, to ensure further bonding and to give Tonka the time to grown stronger and bigger before romping with the rest.

Hogs are native to West and Central Africa. With its reddish coat, dark face mask, white beard and conspicuous ear tufts, they are among the most colorful mammals. In zoos, the population trends of the Red River hogs are controlled by conservation breeding programs such as the one at Berlin Zoo.

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Photo Credits: Berlin Zoo


This little piggy is one of 17 born at Ostrava Zoo

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Two Mangalitza sows at the Czech Republic’s Ostrava Zoo gave birth to their first litters of piglets in late June.  Because the Ostrava Zoo only maintains female Mangalitza Pigs, the sows had been sent to the Vyskov Zoo in January, where they spent three months with a boar.  The result:  17 piglets!  One sow delivered ten piglets; the other seven.  These were the first litters for each sow.

Mangalitza Pigs, which originated in Hungary, are also known as curly-haired hogs due to their long, fleecy coat.  Once widely bred for their lard, Mangalitza pigs are now regarded as a rare breed. 

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Photo Credits:  Ostrava Zoo


Say Hello to Kansas City Zoo's Red River Hog Piglet Quartet

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Little black, cream and red watermelons with wiry pink tails, Spock ears and button snouts -- that just about describes these four new Red River Hog piglets. Born at the Kansas City Zoo on April 23, they made their public debut on May 10, at just 17 days old.

Weighing around 2 pounds (.90 kilos) at birth, they will nurse from mom for at least three months. Pig milk has nearly double the fat of cow or human milk so they will grow quickly; Mom Binti and Dad Runty weigh a healthy 150 pounds (68 kilos) each.

Binti has proven to be an ideal mom, at first by making her own nest from grasses and vegetation and now by nursing and tending to the every need of her babies. Not to exclude Dad from caregiving kudos, Runty is already quick to come to the defense of the piglets and keep them within eyesight of Binti. Rounding them up and keeping a close eye on these four isn’t easy.

How do the zoo keepers tell them apart? One twitches its ear most of the time, one squeaks all the time, one eats all the time, and one is trying to cause trouble all the time! On their first exam by the zoo's vet, they were micro-chipped to ensure each its individual identity.

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Photo Credit: Kansas City Zoo


It's a Red River Hog Piglet Duo for Calgary Zoo

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The Calgary Zoo has two new residents! On the morning of March 12 first time mom Ine (Swahili for “four”) gave birth to two Red River Hog piglets. The wee ones were observed nursing well and the building has re-opened. This will be the fourth litter of red river hogs for the Calgary Zoo.

Red river hogs are native to West and Central sub Saharan Africa to Northern South Africa and Madagascar. Their gestation period is 120-127 days. Red River Hogs are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), a network of breeding recommendations between accredited zoos to provide for the best possible genetic diversity of the species.

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Photo Credit: Clagary Zoo