The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is pleased to announce two new additions to the African Journey area of the Zoo — 14-month-old male sitatunga Jabari and 2.5-year-old warthog Hodor.
Jabari was born at the Mesker Park Zoo in Evansville, Indiana. He was transferred to The Maryland Zoo in August as a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Sitatunga Species Survival Plan (SSP).
“Jabari is going to be a great addition to our herd,” said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager. “He is young, curious, and quite handsome. The SSP has recommended him for breeding with a number of the females, although he has not quite reached maturity just yet.”
Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii) is a species of antelope native to Central Africa. They live in semi-aquatic swamps, marshes and flood plains. Outside of protected areas, sitatunga are vulnerable to over-hunting and habitat loss, as people drain and develop swamp land. Currently sitatunga are not classified as threatened or endangered. The Maryland Zoo’s sitatunga herd is made up of eight animals and can be found in two exhibit spaces along the boardwalk in the African Journey section of the Zoo.
Hodor is a common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). He came to the Zoo this summer from the Detroit Zoo in Detroit, Michigan to be a companion to the female warthog, KeeWee. “Hodor is a bit shy at the moment,” said Cantwell. “He took while to warm up to his new home and new caregivers, but he is now very comfortable with KeeWee. We will be watching him closely as he explores the outdoor warthog yard to ensure he continues to feel at home here at the Zoo.”
While warthogs are not currently endangered, they are threatened in some areas by over hunting and their populations are in decline in many parts of Africa. At the Zoo, the warthogs can be found along the African Journey boardwalk across from the Giraffe Feeding Station.