Pigs & Warthogs

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

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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.

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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

 


Pot-bellied Piglet Gets a Leg Up with Keepers' Help

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A female Vietnamese Pot-bellied Piglet was born on February 2nd, 2012 at Wroclaw Zoo in Poland. Her two siblings, sadly, did not survive the birth and she was rejected by her mother. Keepers quickly stepped in to begin the hand-rearing process. The next day, the Piglet's aunt gave birth and hopeful keepers attempted to introduce the "orphaned" Piglet as one of her own with no success. In the next 3-4 weeks, keepers plan to put both young Pigs together.

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Photo credit: Wroclaw Zoo


Ten Little Piglets! Ten!

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Ireland's Dublin Zoo and the Agri Aware are celebrating the first arrivals of 2012. Last week, Rosie, a Tamworth pig, welcomed ten piglets. This is her second litter, with five males and five females. During the first week, the piglets remained close to their mom, but over the past few days, they have started to explore their new surroundings. 

Eddie O’Brien, team leader at Family Farm, a joint partnership between Dublin Zoo and Agri Aware said, “The piglets are full of beans and can be seen running around chasing after each other in their pen. We are keeping a close eye on two little runts in the litter, just to make sure they are getting an equal share of the food. However, we are very happy so far, as each piglet is healthy and making good progress. We’re very excited to have these new arrivals.”

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Photo Credits: Dublin Zoo

 


Beardsley Zoo Welcomes a Chacoan Peccary Piglet

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This little Chacoan peccary piglet was born on October 20 to parents Acorn and Bernard at Connecticut's Beardsley ZooThe female piglet, who is as of yet unnamed, was two pounds (.907 kg) at birth and has already grown to 10 (4.5 kg) pounds!  She was up and following her mother around within 15 minutes of her birth, which is not uncommon for these animals. 

Chacoan peccaries are between one and a half to two and a half feet at the shoulders and grow to weigh between 66-88 pounds (about 30 kg). They are most active during the early part of the day and then find a shaded area to cool under as the day progresses. Their hair is coarse gray to gray-brown, interspersed with long guard hairs. The have a whitish collar across the shoulders and under the chin. The head is extremely large and the nose tapers to a snout.

Chacoans feed on various species of cacti, fruit, roots herbs, using their tough leathery snouts to roll the cacti on the ground, rubbing the spines off. They also pull the spines off with their teeth and spit them out. The kidneys of the Chacoan are specialized to break down acids from the cacti.

The baby will remain off exhibit until Spring 2012, both because of the harsh winter temperatures and to allow for bonding with the mother. She

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Photo Credit: Beardsley Zoo

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