Honolulu Zoo today announced that it bid aloha to Pua, a female warthog that died on Wednesday due to complications associated with age. Pua was 13 years old.
Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos said that for the past few days, veterinarians, curators and keeper staff had been monitoring Pua’s condition because of her decrease in appetite.
Vets eventually anesthetized Pua to check on her condition, and found that she had an intestinal blockage, which is not uncommon in older pigs. They performed emergency surgery, but unfortunately, Pua did not make a full recovery and died overnight.
“Pua was very intelligent, friendly, and a staff favorite,” said Santos in a news release.
Pua is survived by her companion, a male warthog a year younger named Lenny.
Both Pua and Lenny took up residence at the Honolulu Zoo in 2009, and got newly renovated digs in 2019, thanks to generous support from the Honolulu Zoo Society.
They have been a popular attraction amongst visitors familiar with the character “Pumbaa” from Disney’s film, “The Lion King.”
Warthogs, a wild member of the pig family found in southern African, are noted for thick skin growths that look like warts, along with up-curved tusks, and sparse hair, except for a thick mane that runs down their backs.
They are not listed as endangered, according to Honolulu Zoo, and in captivity, have an average life expectancy of about 12 to 18 years.