Four Warthog Piglets Born at Jacksonville Zoo and GardensApr 29, 2011
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ female warthog, named Tale, gave birth to her first litter of four piglets on April 5, 2011. Tale was born in April 2007 and came to the Jacksonville Zoo in October 2008. The infants’ one-year-old father, named Lenny, was born in April 2009 and arrived in Jacksonville in August 2010. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Yellow Species Survival Plan recommended the warthogs for breeding. These four births bring the total number of warthogs born at Jacksonville Zoo to 15. The mother and her piglets are doing very well and are now officially on exhibit in the Plains of East Africa at the Zoo.
Names for the piglets were selected by the winners of a silent auction at ExZOOberation, the Zoo’s popular evening fundraiser, held this past April 16. They are as follows:
Idwal – named by Hugh and Mary Owen
Bodie & Chico – named by Katie Buckley
Frenchy – named by the Barrow family
“Baby warthogs are a zoo director’s dream-come-true,” said Tony Vecchio, executive director of Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “They are so cute and so active they can’t help but draw a crowd of happy zoo visitors.”
Although warthogs look fierce, they are actually herbivores who prefer to flee rather than fight. Members of the same family as the domestic pig, warthogs present a much different appearance. They have large, flat heads covered with “warts,” which are actually protective bumps, and four sharp tusks. They eat grasses and plants and use their snouts to dig or “root” for roots or bulbs. When startled or threatened, warthogs can run surprisingly fast at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour!
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has become one of the top zoos in the nation. It now features more than 1,800 rare and exotic animals and over 1,000 unique plant species. Preservation of sustainable biodiversity is a key mission of the Zoo. The Zoo is a non-profit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is open year-round, seven-days-a-week, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information, go to jacksonvillezoo.org.
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