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Red River Hog

Potamochoerus porcus

About the Red River Hog

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Geographic Range:

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Class: Mammalia 
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Suidae
Genus: Potamochoerus
Species: porcus

Red river hogs have coarse, rosy hair all over their body with a crest of white hair running along their spine. Both males and females have tusks. These hogs will eat most anything they come in contact with and have an excellent sense of smell, site and hearing for locating food.

Red River Hog Facts

Appearance:

The red river hog has coarse, rosy hair all over its body with a crest of white hair running along its spine. Its face and legs are dark brown or black, with a trim of white on its cheeks and around its eyes. Both males and females have tusks, however, the male’s tusks appear to be larger.

Size:

  • Height: 2-3 feet
  • Body length: 3 – 5 feet
  • Tail length: 1 – 1.5 feet
  • Weight: 100 – 275 pounds

Diet:

Roots, berries and fruits are the most common sources of food, although small mammals, reptiles, birds’ eggs and carrion may all be eaten.

Mating/Reproduction:

In the wild, breeding season begins in September and lasts through April. The peak season is during the wetter months between November and February. In the wild, drought conditions appear to have an affect on the number of females breeding. In captivity, there is no specific breeding season.

Females make a nest, which they hide in the grass and vegetation. Male hogs give females a good amount of attention during the time of pregnancy, providing food and protection. After a gestation period of 120 days, hogs give birth to two to four piglets. Piglets often stay in the tall grass with their mother until they’re ready to rejoin the group, which usually takes only a few days.

Behavior:

Red river hogs are social animals and often live in groups (sounders) ranging from six to 20 members. Each group is led by a dominant male. Occasionally, groups will merge to create larger groups of close to 60 individuals which they use to maintain a large territory of over two square miles. Young males often create bachelor herds while they wait for their opportunity to become the dominant male of a group. Young females often remain in their natal group.

Mostly nocturnal, hogs hide in dense areas during the day. Due to their small size and stature compared to other hogs, it’s far more common for these animals to set out in groups to look for food once the sun sets. If they’re in a large enough group and feel safe, they will graze during the day. Red river hogs will eat most anything they come in contact with and have an excellent sense of smell. They also have a great sense of hearing and site for locating food.

Habitat/Range:

West and Central Africa with areas of Northern South Africa and Madagascar included. Rain forests, wet savannas, forested valleys and near slow waterways.

Median Life Expectancy:

10-12 years

Threats:

Leopards, lions, hyenas, snakes and humans