Hello fellow conservation heroes, Zena the Zookeeper here. The summer excitement just keeps on rolling here at Oakland Zoo! This month, we are celebrating the arrival of two totally beautiful new warthogs. Yes, you heard right – bea-u-ti-ful wartrhogs! I could just watch these two lovely ladies for hours on end! We got them from two zoos in the southern United States, the Atlanta (Georgia) Zoo and the Jacksonville (Florida) Zoo. I hope Simon, our resident male warthog, thinks they are as beautiful as I do. If Simon agrees with me, then maybe we’ll be lucky enough to have some baby piglets join the sounder (sounder means a small group of warthogs).
We zookeepers are pretty proud of our little three-warthog sounder, and of how well the three of them are all getting along. Sometimes it can take many weeks for female warthogs to learn to get along, but our ladies had not problems at all adjusting to their new home or to Simon, or each other. Hmmm… I wonder if it was all the fresh grasses, fruit, and enrichment items we put in their enclosure
And here’s a little fascinating fact for you – warthogs really do have warts! The warts are on their heads, where they also have not one but TWO sets of tusks.
Warthogs are also powerful diggers, using their disc-like snout with their legs to dig for roots and tubers. They often lower themselves closer to the ground by bending their wrists (like Simon is doing in this picture).
Looks pretty awkward to me, but don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt. They have special thick, calloused pads of skin to protect them when they’re bending down like that. And just like all species of pigs, warthogs love to roll around in the mud when the weather gets too hot for them.
So see? These creatures are sweet and loveable and oh so fun to watch – just bea-u-ti-ful. I’m sure you’ll agree with me when you come visit them for yourselves. See you at the Zoo!