“The Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus), also known as the Bush Pig (but not to be confused with P. larvatus, common name “Bushpig”), is a wild member of the pig family living in Africa, with most of its distribution in the Guinean and Congolian forests. It is rarely seen away from rainforests, and generally prefers areas near rivers or swamps.

Red River Hogs eat grass, berries, roots, insects, molluscs, small vertebrates and carrion. They are capable of causing damage to plantations. Red River Hogs typically live in herds of 6-20 members led by a dominant boar. Sows rear 3-6 piglets at a time.

The Red River Hog has striking red fur, with black legs and a tufted white stripe along the spine. They have white face markings around the eyes and on the cheeks and jaws; the rest of the muzzle and face are a contrasting black. The fur on the jaw and the flanks is longer than on the body.

Adults weigh 45 to 115 kilograms (99 to 250 lb) and stand 55 to 80 centimetres (22 to 31 in) tall, with a length of 100 to 145 centimetres (39 to 57 in). The thin tail is 30 to 45 centimetres (12 to 18 in) long. The boar is somewhat larger than the sow. Males have recognisable humps or lumps on both sides of the snout and rather small, sharp tusks.”

Photo: Two 17 day old red river hoglet twins forage for food next to their mother Bahiti at London Zoo on August 23, 2007 in London, England. Red River hoglets inhabit the forests and swamps of West and Central Africa. The recent additions to the London Zoo pig pen have been eagerly awaited by zoo keepers. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

18 Mar 2011 15:15:00