Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Location: Thickets, forests, savannas and swamps throughout western and central Africa. Red River Hogs can also be found on the island of Madagascar.
Family group: Sounders of 2-15 females and young attended by a male.
Diet:(Omnivorous) Grasses, water plants, roots, bulbs, fruit, carrion, small animals.
Main Predators: Humans, leopard, lion, spotted hyena, python.
Gestation Period: 120-127 days.
Young per Birth: 1-4
Weaning: 2-4 months.
Sexual Maturity: At 18-21 months.
Life span: 20 years.


The shaggy, foxy red coat has contrasting black and white markings on the head, including a white eye ring. The leaf-shaped ears have long black and white tassels and the erectile mane which runs the length of the spine is white. Both of these features are used as defenses, as they greatly increase the perceived size of the pig when fluffed out. The snout is long, and, in males, has lengthwise ridges and warts, which are often hidden by the bushy facial hair. The body is round and is supported by short, sturdy legs. The tail is long and hairless except for the terminal tuft. The upper tusks are relatively small and almost invisible, while the lower ones are razor sharp and grow 7 cm / 3 inches long.


The Red River Hog are nocturnal animals and are most active during the night. By day, they hide in dense bushes, resting in a self-excavated burrow deep within impenetrable vegetation during the day. After sunset, they roam around in troops, in search for food. When frightened, the striped piglets crouch and "play possum". As they get older, flight becomes the more frequent response. However, when cornered or wounded, these pigs display considerable courage and frequently attack. Red river hogs are fast runners and good swimmers. They often root for tubers with their plow-like noses and can cause considerable damage to crops in a short period of time.

A sounder may have a very large home range, with over 4 km / 2.4 miles between resting and feeding areas.The red river hog is currently quite common and is not endangered.

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