May 3rd 2015 saw three common warthog piglets born at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. For 10 year old mum Kumari this is her third litter of warthogs.
As with her previous litters, Kumari is doing a great job caring for her babies,” stated Carey Riccardione, mammal collection and conservation manager at the Zoo. “Warthogs usually give birth to three piglets on average, so we’ve hit the mark with this litter of two males and one female.”
Currently the zookeepers are keeping a close eye on the piglets which includes giving them regular veterinary exams as Riccardione explained, “During their first veterinary exam, the piglets weighed between approximately 0.6kg (1.5 pounds) each and they have grown to almost 4.5kg (ten pounds) apiece.”
Kumari will take care of and feed the piglets until they are 21 weeks old. “Right now, they are only 6 weeks old and just beginning to thermoregulate. With the warm summer weather approaching, this is a good time to start introducing them to the outside exhibit yard,” added Riccardione.
These births come following a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) Warthog Population Management Plan (PMP). This program aims to ensure the long-term survival of the captive population and ensure that they remain healthy. Once they are old enough to move on this plan will make recommendations on which zoo they should move to.
These warthogs come from Africa where they live in open grasslands as well as being able to survive on desert fringes.
Photo Credit: The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore