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Welcome Red River Hogs Mort and Dudley

Red river hog, Dudley
Dudley has shown interest in his keepers and has an outgoing demeanor.

Posted January 2021

The Zoo is excited to welcome two new male red river hogs, Mort and Dudley. The hogs are brothers and littermates, recently arriving from the Dallas Zoo. They are 5 years old, and Mort weighs in at ~200 pounds and Dudley at ~196 pounds.

During the winter, the hogs will reside in the former indoor Elephant Exhibit, in stall #1. As the weather warms in the spring and summer, they’ll move to the outdoor Red River Hog habitat. In the winter, the hogs may be off exhibit, but only for brief periods of time in the morning and afternoon, as they are fed by their keepers in non-public areas.

Red river hog, Mort
Keepers comment that Mort is a quicker study than his brother when it comes to training.

At the Zoo, Mort and Dudley eat a mixture of vegetables, fruit, herbivore chow (a commercial brand of dry pellets), alfalfa and timothy hay. Keepers comment the hogs seem to really love fruit and sweet potatoes but are turning their noses up at carrots. Occasionally they’ll be fed meal worms or super worms scattered in their hay for enrichment (encourages natural behaviors to forage for food), as red river hogs enjoy eating insects too. They’re also offered a range of other enrichment, including toys, sound enrichment, feeder and puzzle toys. At their former home at the Dallas Zoo, Mort and Dudley participated in training sessions; MCZ keepers will continue doing a lot of training and interactions with them as well.

Both hogs are very personable and friendly. Dudley seems to be a bit more outgoing with keepers so far, but Mort is braver about investigating new areas. Dudley is the more dominant hog, but Mort seems quicker to learn new things. Keepers say both hogs seem to be quite smart!

Mort and Dudley will not be interacting with Mango, the Zoo's resident hog. Male hogs tend to fight for dominance, especially when there are more than two hogs in the group. And because Mango is quite a bit older, at 13 years old, he would not fare well in social encounters and could be injured. Mango is doing great as a solitary hog in the Zoo’s Winter Quarters area, receiving daily interaction and enrichment from keepers. Keepers say there’s no need to unsettle him by adding these two youngsters to his life!

Red river hogs are the smallest of the African pigs, on average, weighing 100 to 285 pounds, and can be found primarily in the rainforests and adjacent savannas of Africa. They can also be found in dry forests and cultivated areas not far from rainforests, preferring lots of brush in which to forage and hide.

Red river hogs are the most colorful of the pig family, getting their name from the red coat and tendency to often wallow in rivers and streams.

The hogs mark their territory by frequently using the same paths and using their tusks to scrape tree trunks, and using foot, neck and preorbital (near the eye) glands to mark scent. If territory is threatened, they may fight by butting heads, jabbing with snouts and whipping tails.

Photo Gallery

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