Animals & Attractions

We are currently home to a small family of red river hogs, made up of an adult female called Belle, an adult male called Hamish and their offpring.

Location in the Zoo

Our red river hogs can be found opposite the Mansion House

Breeding Programme Category

Our red river hogs are managed by the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP)

In the Wild

Red river hogs (Potamochoerus porcus pictus) are native to the rainforests, mountains, and scrublands of West and Central Africa.  Their range stretches from Gambia on the west coast, down to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the south, and east to the border of Ethiopia.

As its name suggests, the red river hog has a striking red coat of hair, with black legs and a white “mane” running the length of the back.  It has long black and white tassels hanging from the ears, white markings around the eyes, cheeks and jaws, and a black muzzle.

Red river hogs are mostly nocturnal, and live in small troops or “sounders” consisting of four to 20 hogs.  A sounder will usually include one boar, several sows, and their piglets.  The boar will protect his harem of sows fiercely from predators and other boars.  The main predator of the red river hog is the leopard.

Red river hogs are highly adaptable, and may even benefit from human activities that threaten other animals.  Deforestation creates secondary habitats for red river hogs and reduces the number of their predators, while farming provides cultivated food that the hogs can forage.

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