Red rivers hogs arrive at Whipsnade
Wednesday 20 April 2005
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park is delighted to welcome two red river hogs which have recently arrived from London Zoo
Born at the Zoo on 19 September 2004, the girls Lola and Lara can now be seen racing boisterously around their new paddock next to the Zebras in the Africa section of the park.
Weighing in at a healthy 27.5kg each, these striking looking pigs have lost the cream spots and stripes that they were born with and are now red and brown all over with black and white markings on their heads and unusual leaf shaped ears with black and white tassels. The mane which runs down the length of their spine is a defense mechanism which stands on end when these pigs are excited or alarmed in order to make them look much larger to any potential predators.
Red river hogs are also notorious for being much more active and inquisitive than European counterparts and these girls are no exception as they are particularly fond of a very energetic game of chase before they settle down for a luxurious wallow in their mud pool.
Red river hog facts
- Red river hogs or Potamochoerus porcus inhabit the forests and swamps of western and central Africa. Most active at night, these creatures can often be found rooting for tubers with their up-turned snouts. They typically feed on grasses and fruit. Our own hogs enjoy a diet of carrots, apples, bananas and pig pellet. The red river hog is an excellent swimmer and runner
- Sexual maturity: 18-21 months
- Life span: 20 years
- When cornered or wounded, these pigs display considerable courage and frequently attack, although as they mature they prefer to flee
- Family group: Sounders of 2-15 females and young attended by a male
- Diet: grasses, water plants, roots, bulbs, fruit, carrion, small animals
- Main predators: humans, leopard, lion, spotted hyena, python
- The upper tusks are relatively small and almost invisible, while the lower ones are razor sharp and grow 7cm/3inches long.