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Daphne, Penelope, and Eloise are almost 1!

Hello from the Hoofstock Team! Our last few updates have focused on our white rhinos, Kiazi and Mumbles, but we thought we’d change it up and highlight the department’s tiniest residents, the warthog piglets! Our three girls, Daphne, Penelope, and Eloise, will be celebrating their first birthdays on April 13. It’s amazing to see how much they’ve grown over the last year and really developed their own unique personalities. At first glance it can be a little difficult to tell these little cuties apart, but after some studying, you start to notice subtle differences. Daphne is the largest of the group, weighing about 100 pounds. She has the broadest face and straight sides of her ears. Eloise is the next largest. She has a thinner face than Daphne and her ears have the biggest curves on the sides. Penelope is the smallest of the three, weighing in at about 85 pounds. She has a thinner face and very slight curvature to her ears. Their personalities are also really starting to shine as we do more and more positive reinforcement training with them. Eloise is usually the first to come over and participate and is super quick to pick up behaviors. Daphne is generally quick to follow Eloise and is the most food motivated of the three. Penelope tends to be the shy one and may take a minute or two before she engages with care team members.  

With any animals housed in larger groups, it’s easy to think of them as one unit. However, we work hard to care for each of our animals as individuals as well. Lately, we’ve been working on letting the warthogs have a little bit of independence. This is great to help establish more resilient animals and to allow us to work with everyone at their own pace. Every morning and evening we work on separating each warthog (Eleanor and Hamlet included) so that we can offer them their own diets and work with them individually. While Eleanor and Hamlet are excellent parents, this gives them a short break from their parental duties and some well-deserved “me time”. This also allows us to work with the three girls on their own. We’ve slowly been increasing the duration that the piglets are apart, and everyone has been doing great! We’re currently working on training them on recall, responding to their names, target training, scale training, and tactile training. It’s been exciting seeing them catch on so quickly to everything we’ve thrown at them!   

Bridget S.
Keeper III, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl