Mother’s Day at the Zoo was a very special event, not just for mothers, but for our red river hog pair. Female Potter, aged 3 years, gave birth to 3 piglets on May 11 in the morning. This is the first litter for Potter and male, Dill, aged 2 years.
The piglets, 2 females and 1 male are currently on display with their parents in the African Forest boardwalk area of the Jackson Zoo. The piglets will remain with the pair for the foreseeable future. The piglets are approximately 2-3 pounds and have a distinctive striped and spotted coat. Their coloration helps them camouflage with the dappled sunlight that would come through the forest canopy. As they grow, they will lose the stripes and become the rusty red of adult coloration.
Red River Hogs are found in forested areas of western Africa, mainly in the coastal countries of Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria. They generally prefer areas near rivers, streams, or swamps. They will live in family groups typically of 6-20 members, led by a dominant male, or boar. Mostly nocturnal, they search the forest floor for food, rooting for tubers and roots, as well as eating fruit, grasses, insects, and occasionally carrion.
Red River Hogs are listed as Least Concern through the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. There are no immediate major threats to red river hogs; however hunting has led to localized decline.