MIAMI – “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, and these little piggies were born at Zoo Miami!” That’s how the children’s nursery rhyme goes, right?
On Monday, May 17, 12-year-old Binti the Red River Hog successfully gave birth to three healthy piglets at Zoo Miami. The mama of three, two males and one female, is an experienced mother, with several litters under her belt.
On Wednesday, May 20, the piglets received their neonatal exams where they were weighed, microchipped, received iron supplements, had their eyes and oral cavities checked, as well as their umbilicus cleaned.
Luckily for us, Zoo Miami Communications Director and Wildlife Photographer Ron Magill captured the adorable piglets during their morning ordeal.
Though they appear to be in generally good health, small heart murmurs were heard in two of the three, which could be a normal result of being separated from their mother for the exam. The piglets were quickly returned to their mom following the exams, which only took a few minutes.
According to Magill, Red River Hogs are considered a species of least concern and are found in patchy forested areas of western, central, and eastern Africa. “They are a highly adaptable species and get their name from their red coat and tendency to be found close to rivers where they enjoy wallowing in the mud and adjacent streams,” he explains.
They’re also the smallest of Africa’s wild pigs, ranging in size from 100 to 275 pounds. “Males will develop large cartilaginous protrusions on the sides of their face, as well as pronounced tusks used in battles with other males,” says Magill.
Red River Hogs eat a wide variety of fruits, roots, invertebrates, eggs, nuts, grasses, reptiles, and even carrion. According to Magill, they have a normal lifespan of 15-20 years.
Below, we had to include one more adorable photo of one of the piggy’s checkup exams.