BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is pleased to announce the birth of four common warthog piglets, born on Saturday, June 8 to Kumari and Kijani, the Zoo’s warthog pair. This is the third litter for Kumari, the 8-year-old female warthog.
The piglets were found in the morning by the Zoo’s animal department staff who had been keeping a close eye on the pregnant female waiting for her to deliver. “Kumari is a proven mother and is doing a great job caring for her newborns,” stated Mike McClure, general curator at the Zoo. “Interestingly, this is the second year she has give birth to three females and one male piglet, and they are thriving.”
“Females give birth to three piglets per litter on average, so this is a large litter by common standards,” continued McClure. “During their first veterinary exam, the piglets weighed between 1.2 and 1.7 pounds. Currently they weigh between five and six pounds apiece.” Mother warthogs nurse and care for their offspring until they are about 21 weeks of age, at which point they have to fend for themselves. Kijani, like all male warthogs, will not participate in rearing his offspring, and is living separately from Kumari and the babies.
The common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) is a species of wild pig native to Africa. They are commonly seen in Africa’s open grasslands but also seek out denser vegetation. Warthogs can also survive in desert fringes. The Maryland Zoo’s warthogs are in the African Journey section of the Zoo near the Giraffe Feeding Station.
“The timing of the birth is such that Kumari and the piglets can be on exhibit now as the weather is consistently warm,” said McClure. “They will be on exhibit half of the day so that Kijani, the male, can be outside for the other half.”