Four playful, 3-week-old southern warthog piglets expended some energy by running, rooting and roughhousing with each other earlier today (July 20, 2018) at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The piglets, born July 2, explored their habitat—with their mother keeping close watch over them. They exhibited typical warthog behaviors: kneeling and rooting in the dirt, picking up sticks, pushing rocks and even venturing near their mud wallow.
The piglets—three males and one female—were born in a den at their exhibit to mother Orkima and father Stuart. Weighing approximately 1 pound at birth, the piglets will continue to nurse from mom for the next three or four months. When full grown, the male warthogs could weigh up to 250 pounds and the female could weigh 110 to 165 pounds. Keepers report that the piglets are healthy and very active.
“These piglets are full of energy, curious and very playful,” said Patty Cassady, senior keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “Orkima started bringing the piglets out on exhibit at two weeks of age. They now spend the majority of their day outdoors. Mom is an excellent mother.”
Warthogs are found in savanna, woodlands and grasslands from north central Africa to the southern tip of the continent. Warthog populations are stable in the wild for now, but as with many other animals, habitat loss looms as a threat. This wild swine species is best known for its tusks and warts. Males use the tusks during fights, while the warts cushion blows. Like most swine, warthogs are not picky eaters. Their big snout allows warthogs to be good sniffers. Warthogs often kneel down on their front legs and use their muscular snout to dig up dinner. At the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, warthogs eat high-fiber pellets, Bermuda grass, root vegetables and some fruit.
Visitors to the Safari Park may see the little warthog piglets in their African Outpost habitat during the Park’s annual Summer Safari presented by Groupon, a fun-filled summer celebration for the entire family. Summer Safari runs through Aug. 12 and offers extended Safari Park hours—from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily—with entertainment on the Safari Base Camp stage beginning at 1 p.m. All Summer Safari entertainment is included with San Diego Zoo Safari Park admission or membership. For more information, visit sdzsafaripark.org