They may not build houses out of straw, sticks or bricks, but Paignton Zoo’s three little piglets will certainly melt your heart.
The trio of red river hogs were born at Paignton Zoo on Monday 17th July to four-year-old mother Winnie and three-year-old Humphrey. Winnie lived at Colchester Zoo before moving to Paignton in 2021, where she was joined a few months later by male Humphrey. This is the first litter of piglets for the pair, who keepers say are quickly settling into parenthood.
Red river hogs are born with yellow patches, a characteristic that aides their camouflage in the wild and gives them an appearance quite different to that of their parents. As they grow, they will swap their yellow markings for a striking red coat, white whiskers, long ear tufts and a white stripe down their back.
By around 4 months old, these piglets will have transitioned to a solid diet of roots, tubers, fruit and insects. Their parents will show them how to use their snouts to burrow for food, something that they will spend much of their adult life doing.
Keepers at Paignton Zoo have been particularly enamoured by these new arrivals. Interim Curator of Mammals Owen Taylor quoted:
“We were really pleased to find that Winnie had given birth to three healthy piglets when we arrived at work last Monday. We haven’t had red river hog piglets in over 10 years, so this litter feel even more special. Winnie and Humphrey are proving themselves to be great parents, and we can’t wait to see these little ones grow up.”
To catch a glimpse of this cute trio, and make the most of Paignton Zoo’s ‘Kids Go Free’ offer, book tickets to Paignton Zoo by clicking here.