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07 05/07/2016

Hogwarts warthogs! Our new piglets named after Harry Potter characters

  • Warthog
  • New arrivals

Three tiny warthog piglets, named after Harry Potter characters, have made their debuts.

Hogwarts warthogs - Chester Zoo
A tiny trio of playful warthog piglets venture outside for the very first time.

The piglets, (two girls and one boy), have been called Hedwig, Nagini and Aragog in tribute to some of the animals at the famous school of witchcraft and wizardry.

The trio arrived to mum Tamzin and dad Magnum on after a six month pregnancy.

Now, standing at only 20cm tall, the youngsters have taken their very first playful steps outside having spent a few weeks in their den bonding with mum.

Kim Wood, assistant team manager, said:

Our Harry Potter naming theme is just a bit of fun for the keepers. But, having been successful at breeding warthogs in recent years, we have to be more and more creative with the names we choose. Previously we’ve had the likes of Harry, Ron and Hermione and so this time around we’ve named our latest piglets after some of the animals featured in the books. 

These three little youngsters will no doubt be causing mischief and keeping mum very busy over the next few weeks as they form those vital early bonds. This is Tamzin’s third litter and so she’s a very experienced mum and is doing a brilliant job of caring for her new arrivals.  

It’s great to see them all outside exploring for the first time – they’re a very confident bunch.

Native to Africa, warthogs are an iconic species known for their curving tusks and wart-like growths on the sides of their heads. They are under pressure in some parts of the continent because of drought and hunting which have already brought about some localised extinctions.

Our latest warthog trio will now join a carefully coordinated European breeding programme for the species.

Warthog facts

  • Latin name: Phacochoerus africanus
  • Two of the piglets are female and one is male
  • Warthogs have one or two pairs of warts on their face beneath the eyes and near the tusks
  • Males are larger than females but both sexes have upper and lower tusks
  • They feed mainly on grass, roots, bark, fruit and berries but will sometimes eat insects, worms and dead animals
  • Warthogs are found in sub-Saharan Africa
  • They are active in the day and hide away at night, most often in burrows that have been made by aardvarks
  • Mother warthogs nurse and care for their offspring until they are about 21 weeks of age, at which point they have to fend for themselves
  • They can be seen in Tsavo exhibit, near the Diamond Jubilee Quarter
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