Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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West African Guinea Hog

Sus scrofa

The Guinea hog is a small, black breed of swine that is unique to the United States. This pig is native to west Africa but has been bred in the U.S. for many years.

Range & Habitat

In the Wild: Believed to originate in western Africa and now exist in many parts of the world in habitats ranging from deserts to mountains.  

At the Zoo: Domestic Animal Barn.

Conservation Status: Vulnerable

Listed as Threatened by the Livestock Conservancy. They are common as domesticated animals on farms; however, their populations are diminishing due to farmers preferring breeds that grow faster and larger.

Diet

In the Wild: Shrubs, weeds, bird eggs, snakes, grasshoppers, mice, roots, and tubers.

At the Zoo: Grains, hay, fruit, and vegetables.

Life Span

In the Wild: 10 years
In Human Care: up to 20 years.

Fun Facts about the West African Guinea Hog

  •  Guinea hogs, like other pigs, cannot sweat. This is why they are often seen rolling around in mud. The mud keeps them cool and helps protect their skin from the sun.
  •  Hogs are intelligent animals that can be trained to sniff out specific items such as truffles. Due to their incredible sense of smell, hogs are being used today for drug-sniffing and bomb detection.

Sources

Guinea Hog. (2020). Retrieved May 26, 2020, from https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/guineahog

Guinea Hog. (2020). Retrieved May 26, 2020, from https://www.beardsleyzoo.org/guinea-hog.html

Guinea hog. (2020). Retrieved May 26, 2020, from https://www.zoonewengland.org/franklin-park-zoo/our-animals/mammals/hoofed/guinea-hog/

Updated February 11, 2021
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