News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,                            

September 1, 2016


Note: Images of the red river hogs may be downloaded below:
Red River Hog Piglets_6996.jpg
Red River Hog Piglets_7065.jpg
Red River Hog Piglets_7084.jpg
Red River Hog Piglets_7104.jpg

Red River Hog Piglets Born at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield, Ill. – Two red river hog piglets, one male and one female, were born on August 18 at Brookfield Zoo. Born to mother Charlotte and father Little B, the piglets can now be seen outdoors at Habitat Africa! The Forest. The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages the zoo, is happy to announce the piglets are healthy and adjusting well to their new surroundings.

Animal care staff confirmed the pregnancy with an ultrasound. At birth, the two piglets weighed between 3 and 4 pounds each. They have reached critical milestones, such as nursing within an hour after birth, following the mother and father closely, and sleeping next to their parents. Once fully grown, females typically are between 120 and 155 pounds and males can weigh up to 250 pounds.

Charlotte was born in 2013 at San Diego Zoo and relocated to Brookfield Zoo in 2015. This was her first litter. Little B, born in 2004 at Bronx Zoo, was transferred to Brookfield Zoo in 2013. He has reproduced and helped raise multiple litters.

“This is our second birth of red river hogs, and each occasion is an opportunity to learn more about this fascinating animal,” said Bill Zeigler, senior vice president of animal collection and care for CZS. “Though commonly found in their geographic region, red river hogs play a critical role in their local ecosystem, and understanding their characteristics is important for conservation as a whole.”

Typically found in large social groups, red river hogs are native to forested areas in central and southern Africa. The hogs are easy to identify by their striking rust-red fur with black to gray legs and a white stripe down the spine. At birth, piglets are born with black and rusty-red stripes that fade at about six months. Their distinct coloring, unique ear tassels, and neck mane help protect the species against predators such as leopards and lions.

Red river hogs are unique in that they can be found both on the mainland of Africa and on the island of Madagascar. It is thought that people brought the species to Madagascar by floating them on papyrus beds. Known for being able to swim underwater, the hogs are nocturnal omnivores that use their snout like a shovel to find their food.

There are currently more than 200 red river hogs at 56 different institutions in North America. For additional information about the species, visit


#      #      #


About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service. For further information, visit



Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.


Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.