African warthogs and endangered Visayan warty pigs will make their debut at the Woodland Park Zoo on May 5.
The zoo has long had domestic pigs in the Family Farm area, but these will be the first wild pigs.
Visayan warty pig. Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.
Wild pigs live in highly social groups called sounders. A 1-year-old brother and sister from Zoo Atlanta will make up the sounder of warthogs at Woodland Park Zoo. The exhibit will take visitors to the moist and arid savannas of East Africa and is a part of the 4.5-acre, award-winning African Savanna that offers sweeping views dotted with giraffe, hippos, patas monkeys and lions.
The sounder of Visayan warty pigs, a 9-year-old and two 3-year-old females from Los Angeles Zoo, will make their home in a broadleaf tropical forest landscape that evokes the endangered species’ fragile habitat in the Philippines. The exhibit is located in the award-winning Elephant Forest near the elephant pool.
Warthogs jumped to fame when the character Pumbaa endeared itself to fans of Disney’s “The Lion King.” The animals earned their name from the large facial warts on each side of their tusks.
Visayan warty pigs’ distinctive head tufts resemble a punk hairdo gelled with hair product. The punk look is even more prominent during breeding season when males erect both tuft and mane for a larger, impressive appearance.
African warthog. Photo by Siri-Maura Giles.
Woodland Park Zoo will be one of just 12 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums to have Visayan wartypigs on exhibit.