19 May 2014

The as yet unnamed newcomers are the first of their kind to be born at the zoo.

The piglets, who stand at just 30cm tall, arrived to first time parents Tamzin and Magnum.

Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said:

This is the zoo’s first ever warthog family and so of course we’re absolutely thrilled.

Our tiny piglets are almost hairless, wrinkly and grey and already have their trademark protruding warts from which they get their name. Some may not consider them to be as ‘cute’ as many of the other babies we’ve had born here of late, but to us, they’re just as special.

Tamzin is a protective mother and is doing a good job of shielding her youngsters so far. But the new family is becoming increasingly confident and we’re sure they’ll soon be hogging lots of attention.”

We’re 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 new youngsters were born on 2/5/2014
  • They can be seen in the zoo’s Tsavo exhibit, near its Diamond Jubilee Quarter


Proud father, Magnum