South Florida

Beebop and Erica hit it off. Soon after, Erica gave birth to four warthogs at Zoo Miami.

Four newborn warthogs peek through the den opening. They were born on June 20, 2017, at Zoo Miami, the zoo said Friday.
Four newborn warthogs peek through the den opening. They were born on June 20, 2017, at Zoo Miami, the zoo said Friday. Zoo Miami

When Beebop and Erica first met at Zoo Miami, zookeepers worried.

It was January, and both of them had endured long trips to South Florida. Erica had flown in from the Indianapolis Zoo, and Beebop came from San Diego. They’d been brought together to breed.

But sometimes, breeding doesn’t work out, Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill said. Sometimes, there are unforeseen health problems. Sometimes, they just aren’t interested. And sometimes, the animals downright hate each other.

None of that was a problem with Beebop and Erica, a pair of 3-year-old warthogs.

“We were very fortunate,” Magill said. “They got along smashingly from the beginning.”

So smashingly that Erica got pregnant right away. And on June 20, about five months after their first meeting, she gave birth to her first litter of piglets.

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Mother warthog stands guard by the den door protecting her newborns. She gave birth to four warthogs on June 20, 2017, at Zoo Miami, the zoo said Friday. Ron Magill Zoo Miami

On Friday, Zoo Miami unveiled the four baby warthogs — three males and one female — that haven’t been named yet. It was the first time they’d been separated from Erica.

“They were some screaming little piglets today,” Magill said.

The divide only lasted five minutes, however, which was enough time for zookeepers to make sure the piglets were healthy. Magill said everything looked normal, and if they continue to develop smoothly, the 3-pound pigs, which will grow to 85-125 pounds within a year, will be on view for the public in about two weeks.

“We were very, very happy,” he said. “The animals looked very healthy. They were screaming like little banshees, so that also indicated that they were quite healthy.”

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