Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Warthogs go to the vet

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications



We’re just a little over a week away from officially debuting two species of wild pig at the zoo on May 5 and 6Visayan warty pigs and African warthogs.

Warthogs have moved into the zoo's African Savanna biome. 

When new animals arrive at the zoo, they go through a standard 30-day quarantine. Our newly arrived 1-year-old brother and sister warthogs—who came to us from Zoo Atlanta—are wrapping up their quarantine now and have just been introduced to their exhibit space so they can begin to acclimate to their new surroundings.

But a big step for them before they could enter their exhibit space in the African Savanna was to head off to the vets for a health check-up in order to be cleared from quarantine.

Female warthog gets her check-up by our Animal Health team.

The warthogs recently completed their quarantine exams and got clean bills of health. The two were weighed, had x-rays taken and blood drawn, and were closely inspected to register the condition of their teeth, skin and other body parts.

A quick dental inspection for the female warthog.

Getting all of this baseline data when they arrive is critical so we can track their growth and any changes in their health over the years.


The male warthog (pictured above) weighed in at just over 130 pounds—on the small end for a warthog, but typical for a pig of his age. Male warthogs can grow to as big as 330 pounds. Our little guy has a lot more grass, roots, tubers and hay to eat before he gets there.

Warthogs explore their new exhibit space. 

A group of wild pigs is called a sounder, and our sounder proved to be healthy and is adjusting well. They finished up their quarantine and took their first steps inside their exhibit just this past week, where they’ll have to learn through experience about their new surroundings including testing some boundaries and checking out the terrain. Their exhibit space—the former African wild dog exhibit—is designed to evoke the arid savannas of East Africa to which they are native.


The official debut of the warthogs and our other new wild pigs, the Visayan warty pig, is Sat., - Sun., May 5 and 6. Opening weekend festivities will include free piggy banks at the ZooStores for the first 500 kids (ages 12 and under) each day, pig keeper talks, and special pig-themed programs in Zoomazium. 

We hope you’ll go hog wild with us!

All photos by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

1 comment:

  1. Ever since I saw Timon and Pumbaa in the movie "The Lion King", I have fallen in love with warthogs! Now I have a Pumbaa hat, and several stuffed warthogs. Thank your for bringing these two wonderful pigs to the Woodland Park Zoo! Now I don't have to go to the San Diego Zoo or he zoo in Fresno, CA in order to see these special fine swine!

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