9 Jul 2014

At Chester Zoo, it’s not so much buses but warthog piglets!

A second litter has been born at the zoo – just weeks after our first ever piglets arrived last month

The latest tiny trio, who stand at just 30cm tall, have been born to mum Kizzy. They come hot on the heels (or should that be trotters) of two more who are the offspring of mum Tamzin. 

Keepers don’t yet know how many of the new arrivals are boys and how many are girls and so, for the time being, all of the newcomers remain nameless. 

Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said:

“We waited quite some time for our first warthog family and then wouldn’t you know it, both of our females give birth within a matter of weeks!

“We’re delighted with our quintet. When five playful warthog piglets get together they can create a lot of mischief – so I’m sure they’ll soon hog lots of attention over the coming months.” 

Conservation charity Chester Zoo is part of a European breeding programme for the species, which arrived in Cheshire 10 years ago. 

Warthogs are wild pigs native to Africa and known for their large upward curving tusks and wart-like growths on the sides of their heads. They live up to 15 years and can grow as large as 113kg.

Warthog facts 

  • 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
  • Chester Zoo’s first youngsters were born on 2/5/2014. The second litter arrived on 6/6/2014
  • They can be seen in the zoo’s Tsavo exhibit, near its Diamond Jubilee Quarter