Red River Hog
- Genus/Species: Potamochoerus porcus
- Conservation Status: Least Concern.
- Location: West and Central Africa
Sharp Tusks, Long Nose
Red river hogs usually live in and around thickets, forests, savannahs and swamps. They are very sociable animals that live in groups called 'sounders' containing up to 15 animals. Red river hogs are mainly active at night. They spend the daytime hiding in dense vegetation. After sunset, they roam around in troops, in search for food. The red river hog is a good swimmer but is unable to hold its breath for long. As its name suggests, it has a striking red fur. There is a vague, white line that runs over the back. The animal has a blank face mask around the eyes, on the cheeks and on the jaws. The muzzle and the face are black. Both males and females have tusks, though the male’s tusks are much larger.
Red river hogs are around two and a half feet tall and weigh between 100 and 250 lbs. This means that they are as tall as a two year old kid, but can weigh as much as two fourteen year old teenagers put together. Sharp tusks, tough hooves and a long nose help red river hogs root around in the soil in search of food. They use their good sense of smell to find and uncover food, then use the top of their nose for shoveling. Their diet is made up of grasses, water plants, roots, bulbs and fruit, as well as carrion and small animals. Red river hogs are relatively common and widespread. However, hunting affects the species in some areas and as a result, populations in these areas need to be monitored carefully.
Did You Know?
- The distinctive markings on the faces of Red River Hogs are used to signal to one another.
- Male red river hogs fight by butting heads and whipping each other with their tails.
- Red river hogs fluff out their face hair when threatened. This makes them look larger and more threatening to the enemy.
- Red river hog piglets weigh about 1.5 pounds – as much as a big loaf of bread!