The Living Desert is celebrating the birth of a litter of piglet warthogs.
Born in late February, two piglets have been spotted outside of the den in their exhibit in Village WaTuTu.
Born to parents Squiggy and Leia, the piglets will be fully grown in 18 months. Squiggy, the almost 6-year-old sire, joined The Living Desert from Zoo Atlanta in May of 2010. Leia, the 3-year-old first-time dam, arrived in January of 2013 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida.
“We’re excited to welcome these adorable piglets to The Living Desert,” said Allen Monroe, President/CEO of The Living Desert. “A typical litter averages two to four piglets, so we’re excited to see if any more emerge from their den. We love seeing our population grow.”
The piglets were born after a gestation of almost six months (170-175 days), the longest of all pigs. Newborn warthogs are unable to effectively maintain a constant body temperature and remain in, or close to, the burrow for several weeks where the temperature and humidity are relatively constant.
“The animal department staff is closely observing this development from a safe distance,” said Monroe. “We want to give Leia the space she needs to nurture her new family.”
Warthogs are found mostly in Africa and live in burrows within walking distance of water. The name comes from the four large, wart-like protrusions found on their heads, which the warthog uses as protection from predators. Warthogs can weigh any where from 100 pounds to approximately 330 pounds.
The warthog gained popularity when Disney released the hit movie The Lion King in 1994 and featured the character, Pumbaa.
For more information, visit www.LivingDesert.org or contact 760-346-5694.