Red river hog – Potamochoerus porcus

Red river hog – Potamochoerus porcus

Red river hog – Potamochoerus porcus

The red river hog is an omnivorous mammal belonging to the Suidae family.

Red river hog is an African mammal, average measure is between 1 and 1.45 m long and 50 to 80 cm high and weighing 45 to 115 kg. The thin tail of the animal is 30 to 45 cm long.

Instantly recognizable for its bright red fur, this is probably the most striking colors of all wild pigs. This is the smallest African swine, red river hog has a stocky body, powerful shoulders and a wide muzzle allowing it to quickly eradicate the harsh vegetation. The ears are long and pointed, with tufts on the tips, while the head is distinctly marked with white spectacles around the eyes and wears long white whiskers. The fur on the jaw and the sides is longer than the body. A visible white mane also runs down the midline of the back. As with all wild pigs, canines form defenses, including the visible part is about 7 cm long. Males have recognizable bumps on both sides of the muzzle.

It is unevenly distributed across the West African rainforest and central Senegal, through the forest of Guinea and Congo. It is found in forested, humid savannas where vegetation is dense. It is, however, very adaptable and also operates the cultivated areas near forests.

This species is usually active at night, returning to its burrow in dense vegetation during the day, though in shady forests individuals can also feed during the morning and evening. Roots, berries and fruits are the most common sources of food, although small mammals, reptiles, birds, eggs and carrion can also be eaten to availability.

Breeding occurs from September to April, during the hot and humid summer season from November to February. After a gestation period of about 4 months, 3 to 4 young are born in a nest of grass measuring 3 m wide and 1 m deep. After leaving the nest, juveniles join the family group where they will be protected by the dominant male. Red river hogs reach sexual maturity around the age of 3 and can live between 10 and 15 years.