Maryland Zoo welcomes two new animals to African Journey area

Posted at 12:01 PM, Sep 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-21 12:01:01-04

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore welcomed two new animals to their African Journey area. 

If you go to the zoo make sure to welcome the 14 month old sitatunga named Jabari, and a two and a half year old warthog named Hodor.

Jabari was born at the Mesker Park Zoo in Illinois, and was transferred to Maryland in August as a part of a Sitatunga Species Survival Plan. 

"Jabari is going to be a great addition to our herd," said Erin Cantwell, mammal collection and conservation manager. "He is young, curious, and quite handsome.  The SSP has recommended him for breeding with a number of the females, although he has not quite reached maturity just yet."

A sitatunga is a species of antelope native to Central Africa. They usually live in semi-aquatic swamps, marshes, and flooded plains. The species are vulnerable to over-hunting and habitat loss, as people are draining and developing swamp land. 

Hodor is a regular warthog, and came from the Detroit Zoo. He was brought in to be a compainion to a female warthog, KeeWee. 

"Hodor is a bit shy at the moment," said Cantwell. "He took while to warm up to his new home and new caregivers, but he is now very comfortable with KeeWee. We will be watching him closely as he explores the outdoor warthog yard to ensure he continues to feel at home here at the Zoo." 

Warthogs are not endangered, but many are threatened by over hunting and their populations are declining in many parts of Africa.