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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

Red River Hog

The Red River Hog (Potamochoerus porcus), or Bush Pig, is a wild member of the pig family that lives in the rainforests, mountains and brushes of Africa.

Adults weigh 121-176 pounds (55-80 kg) and stand 1.9-2.46 ft (0.6-0.75 m). The fur is brown, with black legs and black and white snout. They live in herds of 6-20 members, led by the strongest boar. 3-6 piglets are born at a time.

Red River Hogs eat grass, berries, roots, insects, mollusca, little vertebrates and carrion. They are capable of causing damage to plantations.

Description

The Red River Hog has a striking red fur. There is a vague, white line that’s runs over the back. The animal has a blank facemask around the eyes, on the cheeks and on the jaws. The muzzle and the face are black. The hair on the jaw and the flanks is longer than on the rest of the fur.

The Red River Hog has length of 3-5 ft (1 to 1.5 meter). The thin tail is 1 to 1.5 ft (30 to 45 centimeters) long. The boar is somewhat larger than the sow. Also, the male has recognizable humps on both sides of the muzzle and rather small, sharp battle cogs.

Behavior

The Red River Hog is omnivorous. It eats mainly roots and turnips, and completes its diet with fruit, grasses, herbs and animal food such as eggs, dead animal and plant remains, insects, and lizards. To find the turnips, roots and insects, it tosses its large muzzle in the ground. In this way, Red River Hogs can cause much damage to agricultural plants.

The Red River Hog is mostly nocturnal. By day, they hide in dense bushes. After sunset, they roam around in troops, in search for food. The Red River Hog is a good swimmer.

They live in small troops of four up to twenty animals, comprising a male (boar), some adult sows and their piglets. The boar defends its harem aggressively against carnivores; the leopard is its most important enemy. Different troops merge sometimes and form groups of up to sixty animals.

Distribution and habitat

The Red River Hog lives in rainforests, wet, dense savannas, in forested valleys, and in the nearness of rivers, lakes and marshes. The distribution ranges from the Congo area, from Gambia to East-Congo, southwards to the Congo River and the Kasai.

Red River Hog