Habitat & Range
The Chacoan peccary is a species of peccary found only in the Gran Chaco region of Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. The Gran Chaco is an enormous flat plain, spanning approximately 87 square miles, where temperatures are hot and rainfall is low.
The largest of three generally recognized species of peccary, the Chacoan peccary is covered in bristle-like fur that ranges in color from brown to charcoal gray. There is a black dorsal stripe which runs on to the tail and white across the shoulders and under the chin. The Chacoan peccary has many pig-like features, but most notable is the snout.
Chacoan peccaries primarily feed on various species of cacti. To remove the spines, they either roll the cacti on the ground with their snout, or pull them off with their teeth. Occasionally, they also eat acacia pods, bromeliad roots, or fallen cacti flowers.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Mating season for the Chacoan peccary has been linked to periods of food abundance and rainfall. Young are most commonly born between the months of September and December, after a 5 month gestational period.
The average Chacoan peccary has a lifespan of 9 years.
Fantastic Fact Few and Far Between
Until 1971, the Chacoan peccary was thought to be extinct. Only about 3,000 currently exist in the world, making them very rare and highly endangered. The Elmwood Park Zoo is one of only 11 zoos in North America to house Chacoan peccaries.
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