Two weeks ago I traveled to Dallas, TX, to pick up the Zoo’s newest addition to Africa! Walter is a spirited, 11-week-old warthog.
Walter is sweet and a little ornery… which is pretty adorable. He’ll be in the Zoo’s nursery for the next three weeks getting to know all of his keepers and handlers. Two to five people are scheduled to socialize, play with and even cuddle Walter every day. He loves to sleep in your lap, get belly rubs, and play ball.
Once Walter is out of the nursery he will be moved to the Africa interpretive animal area. There he will have a large stall, outdoor exercise yard and lots of daily interaction. Beyond that he will be walked throughout the zoo a minimum of three times a day, for a few different reasons. Primarily because it is imperative for swine species’ to be exercised a ton!
In the wild most swine will travel more than five miles a day in search of food and/or water. Without appropriate exercise, these highly intelligent animals will become destructive and unhappy. Not only that, swine travel in family groups called “sounders.” They are highly social. Because of this it is also imperative that Walter’s emotional needs are met. He will want to be out in the Zoo meeting new “family members” every day.
When you come to the Cincinnati Zoo next month, you might get to meet one of our new favorite animals, Walter the warthog.