05 31/05/2018

Stars in stripes! Trio of red river hoglets born at Chester Zoo

Three little piggies have been born at Chester Zoo – a trio of red river hogs.

  • Three little piglets arrive to mum Mali and dad Con-Fetti
  • Red river hogs are known as the world’s most colourful pig species
  • Hunting for their meat has led to a decline in numbers in areas of Africa
  • Keepers say trio are ‘a real handful’ as they begin to explore

The tiny triplets, which are as yet unsexed and unnamed by keepers, arrived to mum Mali (9) following a four-month-long pregnancy.

Red river hogs are instantly recognisable for their bright red fur, which helps them blend into their Sub-Saharan African habitat. This colouring has made the pigs renowned as being the world’s most colourful member of the pig family.

Tiny triplets! Trio of red river hogs born at Chester Zoo
They are native to the swamps and forests of West and Central Africa but hunting for their meat has led to a decline in numbers where they were once commonly found.

Sarah Roffe, team manager at the zoo, said:

It’s early days, but the piglets are doing great so far. They’re so small at the moment and their coats are covered in spots and stripes, which will slowly start to fade after about six months when they’ll take on their more iconic rusty colouring.

The trio are sticking very close to mum Mali, but it’s great to see them spending time with dad Con-Fetti. In fact, they can often be seen enjoying a nap whilst sat on top of him.

This is the pairings first set of triplets, so they’ll soon be a real handful for mum and dad as they become more adventurous and playful. It’s amazing to see the family of seven together!

Conservationists at the zoo are keen to develop greater understanding of how to care for the species in conservation breeding programmes should the worst happen to the species, extinction in the wild.

Red river hogs are also known as "tufted pigs" due to the white whiskers and tufts found on their ears.

Red river hog facts:

The piglets were born on 4 May 2018 and stayed in their den bonding with mum for the first few weeks of life.

Notes to editors

  • Chester Zoo is a registered conservation and education charity that supports projects around the world and closer to home in Cheshire. Welcoming over 1.8 million visitors a year, it is the most visited zoo in the UK; home to over 21,000 animals from around 500 different species, many of which are endangered in the wild
  • Chester Zoo is the UK’s most visited tourist attraction outside London, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)
  • In August 2017 the zoo was named the UK’s best zoo and the third best zoo in the world by users of travel website, TripAdvisor
  • Through its wildlife conservation campaign, Act for Wildlife, the zoo is helping to save highly threatened species around the world from extinction. Find out more at www.actforwildlife.org.uk
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