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He Wants To Share The Red River Hog
Of the many varieties of wild swine that Jon Wesley Conley and his family in Alamo, Tenn. raise, he says the Red River Hog (also known as the African Bush Pig) are the easiest and most rewarding to raise.
  It just so happens that Conley's breeding pair is the only privately owned pair in the world. He's expecting to have some offspring available this fall to loan to other private breeders.
  "I'd like people to have the chance to appreciate these animals and marvel at the beauty of this elite species," he explains. "Instead of putting a price on these hogs, I'd prefer to just loan them so I can keep tabs on them. I wouldn't want them to end up being used for hunting."
  According to Conley, the Red River Hog exists in three varieties - the one he has (P. Porcus), P. Porcus Pictus, and a distinctly different looking type, commonly known as the Southern Bush Pig. San Diego Zoo has the only captive Southern Bush Pigs in the world, he says, and this variety originates in West Africa. The other two types come from Senegal-Congo and Cameroon.
  "None of the varieties are endangered, but all are experiencing a drastic decline in their populations, due to the bush meat trade and over-hunting in Africa. They're also considered a nuisance in agricultural areas," he says. "In the rest of the world, I'd say they're one of the least known wild swine, but the most beautiful."
  The variety that Conley owns has a long snout, and a shaggy red coat with contrasting black and white markings on the head, with white rings around the eyes. At a young age, the pigs develop long white whiskers which seem to never stop growing, he points out.
  "Short, stocky black legs support their relatively small, round bodies, which in sows is rarely longer than 3 1/2 ft. or more than 150 lbs.," Conley adds. "Old boars in the wild have been recorded at 5 1/2 ft. long and 250 lbs., though."
  Besides their unique beauty, his fascination and affection for Red River Hogs stems from the animals' "personality."
  "They can become extremely tame - almost as if they were a domestic pig, craving attention and treats. The boars take an active role in caring for the young, and also for the sow, reminding me of an exotic potbelly in more ways than one."
  The Red River Hog litter size ranges from three to eight piglets, and 5-ft. hog panels are adequate for fencing, according to Conley.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jon Wesley Conley, 637 Conley Road, Alamo, Tenn. 38001 (ph 731 343-5180 or 731 696-4423; fax 731 696-2400; jwconley637@yahoo.com; www.tennesseesafaripark.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #4