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Endangered Chacoan peccaries make exhibit debut at Stone Zoo

ChacoanpeccariesThe staff at Stone Zoo is pleased to announce the addition of Chacoan peccaries, an endangered species closely resembling a hairy wild pig. They can now be seen on exhibit within Treasures of the Sierra Madre.

The three male peccaries recently arrived from the Los Angeles Zoo. Littermates Brant and Stoop were born in 2014, and Red was born in 2015. The peccaries weigh about 70 pounds each, and they are settling into their exhibit well and getting acclimated to the new space, according to Pete Costello, Assistant Curator of Stone Zoo.

“The peccaries are curious and have been responding well to staff. They’re the first peccary we’ve had on exhibit here at Stone Zoo, so we’re really excited about their arrival,” said Costello. “They are an endangered species and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institutions are working hard to help them survive, through both the Chacoan Peccary Species Survival Plan (SSP) and field conservation programs.”

Peccaries are native to hot, dry forests and grasslands in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. They have dark, bristle-like fur, dark stripes across their back, and white fur on their shoulders. Peccaries are able to make pathways through virtually impenetrable areas of thorny bush. Peccary, a name which originated with the Brazilian Tupi people, means “animal which makes many paths through the woods.” Threats to this species include habitat destruction, disease, and hunting by humans. Although first described in 1930 based on fossil records, Chacoan peccaries were not recognized as a living species until the 1970s.

SSPs are cooperative, inter-zoo programs coordinated nationally through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Zoo New England is an active participant in a wide range of SSPs, which are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable captive populations of species.  

Learn more about Chacoan peccaries.

Images courtesy of Dayle Sullivan-Taylor