Detroit Zoo shows off new warthog piglets

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Royal Oak — The "Game of Thrones" has come to Royal Oak with the debut of four warthog piglets born last month and named after characters on the hit HBO series.

Females Daenerys, Sansa and Cersei; and males Tyrion and Hodor were born April 8 to mother Lilith, 10, and father Linus, 5, zoo officials said. It is the third litter in three years for the warthog pair.

Tyrion, the smallest of the piglets, will remain behind-the-scenes until he gains enough weight to join the rest of the group, spokeswoman Patricia Janeway said. Zoo officials hope to introduce him to the group within the next several weeks.

"We're thrilled to have this new litter to add to our warthog family," said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society. "Like all pigs, warthogs are smart and precocious and a lot of fun to watch running and rooting around in their habitat."

Counting the smallest piglet yet to be unveiled, the zoo's warthog population now stands at 12 animals, officials said. The group, called a sounder, can be seen in their habitat near the Africa Train Station.

The zoo describes warthogs as stocky, muscular animals with almost-hairless bodies, wrinkly, gray skin, long, coarse manes and tasseled tails. They have flat faces, high-set eyes and elongated snouts.

A mature warthog stands about 30 inches tall and can weigh between 125 and 300 pounds.

Its most noticeable features are four large tusks and facial warts. The animal mostly is found in the savannah woodland and grasslands of sub-Saharan Africa, where it is threatened by drought and hunting.

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