Red river hogs live in family groups called sounders. Generalists, they eat just about any food item they find on or in the ground and thrive in habitats ranging from swamps and forests to steppes and savannas.

What They Eat

Roots, bulbs, and fallen fruit are these hogs’ favorite foods. Others include eggs, insects, and small reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Where They Live

Red river hogs thrive in forests and in savannas, swamps, and steppes with plentiful shelter and water. Sometimes they live in farmed areas where they are considered pests.

What They Do

Members of the swine family, red river hogs are social animals. They live in family groups of 12 to 20 (and sometimes up to 100) individuals. Their tusks work like garden hoes to help them dig up roots, insects, and other food from beneath the ground.

How They’re Doing

Red river hogs are plentiful throughout their range, thanks in part to a reduction in population of their main predator, the leopard. When they occur near civilization they may be hunted as agricultural pests.


Where in the World



Prairie/Steppe, River, Lake, Wetland, Savanna, Tropical Forest and Other – cultivated areas

Conservation Status


Animal Facts

Body length: 3–5 feet
Height at Shoulder: 25–30 inches
Weight: 100–250 pounds
Lifespan: Up to 50 years

Taxonomic Category

Mammal, hoofed

Where at the Zoo

Tropics Trail

  • Male red river hogs fight by butting heads and whipping each other with their tails. Their warty faces help protect them from each other.
  • Like other members of the pig family, red river hogs have a flat disk made of cartilage at the end of their snout. Muscles in the snout allow them to move the disk around as they search for food.
  • Red river hogs fluff out their face hair when threatened. This makes them look larger and more threatening to the enemy.
  • The red river hog is one of at least 16 species of swine found around the world.

With populations of their main predator, the leopard, relatively low, red river hogs are thriving.

You can help red river hogs and other wild animals by showing your support for zoos and other organizations that work to maintain healthy wildlife populations and protect wild habitat.