Common Name: Red River Hog

Scientific Name: Potamochoerus porcus


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Artiodacta

Family: Suidae

Genus: Potamochoerus

Species: P. porcus


The Potamochoerus porcus, also known as the red river hog, have striking red fur with white lines that run over their back. Around their eyes, they have a white mask that goes by their cheeks and jaw. Their long muzzle around their face is black. These animals grow to around 193 pounds. They live for close to 22 years. Their body length is from 3.3 ft. to 5 ft. with their tail as long as 2.6 ft. The females have an average litter of 3 but could have up to six piglets.


The red river hog is found in West and central Africa and Madagascar. They live in the rainforest and areas that are wet such as dense savannas, forested valleys that are near rivers and lakes. They make their niche and do well in that ecosystem because they like to eat plants and in the rainforest, many plants continue to grow because of the moisture and water in the rainforest. The nocturnal animal live in groups and travel together in groups of up to 20 that include boar, adult sows, and piglets.


As of 2008, Red river hogs are safe from being extinct. Their populations cover well over the areas of Central Africa to Guinea to Nigeria. In some areas, hunting has led to a small percent of the decline, but not to be of any concern. Humans may hunt the red river hog to protect their crops and agriculture since they like to eat fruits and plants. This mammal is an omnivore that likes to eat both plants and animals. They eat mainly roots and turnips but do also eat dead animals, eggs, insects, earthworms, and lizards. Besides hunters, who are a threat to the red river hog, leopards, lion, spotted hyenas, and pythons may attack the red river hog.


With being nocturnal these animals hide out during the day in dense bushes. When the sun sets is when they go out in their groups to search for food. To protect themselves they are capable of swimming, but can only hold their breath for a short amount of time. I thought an interesting fact about the red river hog is that when they are angry at one another they press their foreheads together butting heads and jabbing their snouts at each other. With their long tails, they whip each other also. There are thirteen different types of red river hogs, a common one is the bush pig that at one time was thought was the same as the red river hog. In the United States, you may see one at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida or large zoo parks throughout the country.


Author Sam S.

Published: 03/2009


Sources: Pigs & Peccaries Specialist Group (1996). Potamochoerus porcus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 2 Feb. 2009. Hardcourt, Inc. California Science ISBN-13: 978-0-15-365364-3. Hardcourt School Publishers 2008.


Picture Credit: