Red river hog
Sub Saharan Central and Western Africa
IUCN conservation status
With their striking reddish-brown coat, they're the most colourful and smallest of the Suidae family.
Eating Whatever Can Be Found, at Ground Level
They love roots and tubers. But fruits, seeds, insects, eggs and small vertebrates found on the ground are also part of their diet. Undigested larvae or nuts found in elephant dung or nuts complete the menu.
Wild Hogs with a lot of Flair
Their stocky body makes it easy to move through the dense shrubs of tropical rainforests. Not only do they have a remarkable sense of smell, but they also have a powerful muzzle for probing the ground and turning over the soil. They love taking mud baths to refresh and rid their skin of parasites.
A Fierce Defence Relying on Confrontation Rather than Flight
Leopards are the main predators of red river hogs, as well as lions, spotted hyenas and pythons. Although fleeing is a common reaction, both males and females will vigorously defend their young, to the point of forming a united front in the face of an adversary. It is not uncommon for a leopard to retreat due to their rebellious attitude.
A Prized Catch for Sports Hunting
They're considered common and abundant in their environment. However, increasing human densification in some areas is causing localized declines in their populations, because of the popularity of their meat. Introducing domestic pigs into their habitat is also threatening their health and increases competition for resources.