Pigs & Warthogs

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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Eight Tiny Hooves: Visayan Warty Pigs Born at Belfast Zoo

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Keepers at Belfast Zoo UK are delighted to hear the pitter patter of tiny trotters after the recent birth of Maleah and Malu, two very special Visayan Warty Pigs. Proud parents Malcolm and Mabel arrived at their newly renovated Belfast Zoo enclosure in March/April 2010 from Chester Zoo and Rotterdam Zoo. The pair soon became inseparable and three weeks ago welcomed their new arrivals. 

Zoo manager, Mark Challis is delighted with this achievement, saying, “The whole Zoo team is delighted and extremely proud that within just one year we have been able to renovate an enclosure, introduce two new critically endangered animals and successfully breed two piglets!"

"Visayan Warty Pigs are the most critically endangered of all wild pigs," he continued. "And while historically they were native to six islands within the Philippines they have already become extinct on four of them due to deforestation. And they are hunted for meat and by farmers to protect their harvest. With such a high risk of extinction in the wild, it makes the birth of Maleah and Malu very special and a real achievement for Belfast Zoo.” 

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Photo Credit: Belfast Zoo

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Who Knew - Piglets Smile When They Nap!

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Here's a set of baby pictures that just may produce squeals of delight! These nine Tamworth piglets were born in the first week of May, 2011, at the Dublin Zoo's Family Farm to mom Ginger. Five are males and four are female.

Eddie O’Brien, team leader of the Family Farm said, “The piglets are thriving and full of beans. During the first couple of weeks we kept a close eye on the one little runt of the pack, as he was smaller and weaker than the others. There was no need to worry as we soon realized he is equally as fit and able as the rest of his siblings...  He never misses a meal!”

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Photo Credits: Dublin Zoo

Among the oldest of pig breeds, the Tamworth is a domestic pig originating in the UK. They are thought to have descended from wild boars, via native pig stock of Europe. Principal populations today are in the United Kingdom, Australia, USA, New Zealand and Canada. Also called Sandy Backs and Tams, they are listed as "Threatened" in the US and as "Vulnerable" in the UK by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. There are fewer than 300 registered breeding females.


Surprise Hoglets Pop into Spain

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Two Red River Hogs were born unexpectedly in early May at Bioparc Valencia in Spain. These colorful wild boars live in the African equatorial forest, typically near water. In recent years the population of this species has grown dramatically in accredited zoos, but the genetic pool is shrinking. International controls to prevent the spread of swine flu have made the transport of these hogs between foreign zoos for responsible breeding purposes more challenging. After a lot of red tape, the father of these tiny hoglets was finally sent to a German zoo where he could contribute genetic diversity, but not before clandestinely fathering these two little piggies.

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Don't miss this video!

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Red River Hoglets at Howletts!

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On May 3, 2011, Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury, England welcomed the birth of two baby Red River Hogs.The Red River Hog, or bush pig, is widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, across forests, mountains and grasslands. These pigs are social animals, often living in small groups called "drifts" or herds.

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Most active at night, Red River Hogs have made enemies with some farmers by raiding crops. They are hunted for this reason, as well as for meat. While they are not at high risk, there are very few in zoos, so these babies offer a rare opportunity to appreciate this strong, intelligent and adapatable animal. With its reddish coat and patterned face, it is probably the most attractive-looking of wild pigs.

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Photo credits: Shelly Ansell


Four Little Hoglets!

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The first-ever Red River Hoglets born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are healthy, growing, and spending their days learning how to root and wallow, as every good hog should know how to do. The pair, a boy and a girl, was born the morning of March 23, and can now be seen on exhibit in African Rift Valley on sunny days when the temperature reaches at least 50 to 60 degrees. The hoglets weigh in at a little over two pounds and are already devouring fresh vegetables, along with their mother’s milk.

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Photo credits: Tracey Gazibara, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo


Video credits: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

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Four Formosan Hoglets in Taipei

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On February 10 Taiwan's Taipei Zoo welcomed four little Formosan Wild Boar hoglets. This subspecies of boar is native only to Taiwan. The little boars were born as part of a Taipei Zoo conseration program to protect the species, which has become increasingly rare as farmers allow their domestic pigs to roam free and interbreed with Formosan Boars. Zookeeper Chen Yan He, the Zoo's unofficial "pig nanny," has worked with a variety of pigs and boars in the past but says that the Formosan Boars are among the most gentle.

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Formosan Wild Boar hoglets at Taipei Zoo 2bPhoto credits: Taipei Zoo