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On Monday, May 17th, “Binti,” Zoo Miami’s 12 year old Red River Hog, gave birth to three piglets. Born at the Los Angeles Zoo, she is an experienced mom that has successfully raised several litters prior to arriving at Zoo Miami in 2017.
“Pua” is the 9 year old father and he was born at the Oklahoma City Zoo. He has also sired serval offspring prior to arriving at Zoo Miami in 2019.
This morning, the three piglets received their neonatal exams where they were weighed, microchipped, received iron supplements, had their eyes and oral cavities checked as well as having their umbilicus cleaned. It was determined that there are two males and one female. Though they appear to be in generally good health, small heart murmurs were heard in two of the three which could be a normal result of being separated from their mother for the exam but will be closely monitored in the future. The piglets were quickly returned to mom following the exams which only took a few minutes.
Red River Hogs are considered a species of least concern and are found in patchy forested areas of western, central, and eastern Africa. They are a highly adaptable species and will on occasion leave the refuge of the forest to feed on agricultural crops sometimes causing conflict with farmers.
They get their name from their red coat and tendency to be found close to rivers where they enjoy wallowing in the mud and adjacent streams. They are sometimes called the tufted pig in reference to their long ear tufts and are the smallest of Africa’s wild pigs ranging in size from 100 – 275 pounds. Males will develop large cartilaginous protrusions on the sides of their face as well as pronounced tusks used in battles with other males.
Red River Hogs are opportunistic omnivores feeding on a wide variety of fruits, roots, invertebrates, eggs, nuts, grasses, reptiles and even carrion. Like most pigs, they use their snouts to root up the ground in constant search of food and have a normal lifespan of 15-20 years.