The wild boar enclosure at
Basel Zoo has been refurbished and the striped piglets are whizzing about among
the little pines.
Basel Zoo’s wild boar
enclosure now features a small, sparse pine forest. It took a week to remove
the old substrate from the enclosure, dig out the stream, bring new material in
and plant the little pine trees.
The back portion of the
enclosure has been strewn with wood chippings where the wild boars can dig to
their hearts’ content or just stretch out comfortably. The front part of the
enclosure is the ‘working area’: the wild boars rummage through the sand and
stones with their snouts and properly dig up the place. As time goes on, they move so much material
about that the diggers have to come in regularly to set the enclosure back to
its original state.
The wild boar enclosure is
currently home to six animals: a male, two females and three baby boars born on
6 January. These striped piglets are now scurrying nimbly among the trees. Wild
boars’ feeding behaviour is particularly impressive: visitors can watch how
they always wash their food in the stream before they eat it, behaviour first
observed at Basel Zoo and described in 2015.
Wild boar build ‘nests’
Wild boar are exceptionally neat
animals. They sometimes find a place to sleep on soft branches and under
shrubs. It is an impressive sight to watch the sows (the females) building
their farrowing nests, the name given to the collection of branches, leaves and
twigs which the animals skilfully layer on top of each other. This is where
their young are born. However, the current piglets were born in the stall – the
cold and above all very rainy weather most likely prompted their mother to make
herself comfortable there instead. If the weather plays ball, the second sow
may use the many new pines and branches to build herself a farrowing nest