Virginia Zoo’s newest additions are ‘hogging’ the spotlight

The two female red river hogs have made it to their new home at the Virginia Zoo. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the Virginia Zoo)
The two female red river hogs have made it to their new home at the Virginia Zoo. (Southside Daily/courtesy of the Virginia Zoo)

NORFOLK — The Virginia Zoo’s red river hog sounder, or group, is growing by two this summer, officials said in a news release.

Mrembo and Tikiti, both females, joined the zoo last month.

They were born in April 2017 at the San Diego Safari Park and arrived at the Virginia Zoo at the beginning of May.

After they completed a routine quarantine period, they are now gradually being introduced to their new exhibit in the Africa – Okavango Delta, and soon their new exhibit mate, Oboi.

Oboi is the Zoo’s 12-year-old male red river hog who arrived at the Virginia Zoo from the San Diego Zoo in 2012, officials said.

“Red river hogs are a funny and lovable animal,” said Greg Bockheim, executive director of the Virginia Zoo. “We are pleased to participate in this breeding program for this species and look forward to seeing how the girls get along with Oboi.”

The trio have been brought together by a breeding recommendation from the Association for Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Program, which oversees and manages species’ population in zoos by pairing individuals and monitoring breeding to maximize genetic diversity and long-term sustainability of populations.

About red river hogs

According to the Virginia Zoo, red river hogs are native to the rainforests of West and Central Africa.

They can grow up to three feet in height and weigh up to 100-270 pounds.

Red river hogs are mixed feeders, consuming mostly fruits and seeds, and have been seen scavenging carcasses.

The species is considered a common and abundant species, however the population is declining because of subsistence hunting, zoo officials said.

To learn more about the animals at the Virginia Zoo, click here.

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