After saluting your own mother on Mother’s Day, you might want to pay your respects to another Baltimore mom, the Maryland Zoo’s Kumari, who just gave birth to four piglets.
Born on April 4 to Kumari and Kijani, the Zoo’s warthog pair, they’ve been inside bonding with their mother, doubling their birth weight (they’re up to 2.5 pounds) and staying in out of the cold spring weather.
There are three females in the litter, Virginia, Mable, and Honey, and then there’s the sole male, Memphis. They’ll stick around the zoo for about a year before they’re transferred to another facility. As for their seven-year-old mom, Kumari, if she looks mellow about motherhood, it could be because this is her second litter.
“Up until this week they’ve been feeding from Mom but now they’re starting solid food” explained Jane Ballentine, public relations director for The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
Ballentine also shared a piece of universal advice: “Keeping mom calm is the key.”
Starting this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day, the Zoo plans to have Kumari and her litter on exhibit from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily, weather permitting. (Kijani will have access to the outdoor yard in the afternoons.)
Zoo officials invited The Brew to check out not just Kumari’s new kids but several other recently-born animals.
New prairie dog pups have begun to emerge from their underground dens. Born underground approximately seven weeks ago, the pups typically live with their mothers in their dens until the weather warms up. (Look for them in Prairie Dog Town at the entrance to the Zoo.)
Two other Zoo youngsters, eleven-month-old Stella and Phoenix, came recently from a private facility in Indiana, so no mom on the scene. (They’re also going to be on exhibit from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
The arrival of the new baby Colobus monkey, by contrast, caught zoo officials by surprise. Since discovering the baby about two weeks ago, zoo staffers have not been able to confirm its gender.
The aunt and mother also seem to have disputes about whom the baby belongs to, often resulting in one stealing the baby from the other, Ballentine said.
The Brew came across this new mother right after she had reclaimed her baby and had it locked in a tight embrace. Maybe other visitors will have better luck than we did catching a glimpse of him or her.
– Ben Halvorsen, 17, is interning at The Brew this month.