White-Lipped Peccary

Tayassu pecari

Creating a stink!

Peccaries are also known as “skunk pigs” because of the stench they give off from the scent gland on their backs. They use this scent to help them identify members of their group, rubbing up against one another’s backs so that everyone smells the same. This also allows them to mark their territory.


  • Origin

    Central and South America

  • Habitat

    Dry forests and savannah areas, preferring the dense tropical rainforest

  • Diet

    White-lipped peccaries eat roots, fruits, grasses, leaves, invertebrates and carrion.

  • Status


  • Size

    1,1 m

  • Weight

    approx. 22 kg

  • Gestation period

    158 days

  • Achievable age

    up to 15 years in the wild, up to 20 years in human care

Threat Categories of IUCN

Strength in numbers

In the wild, white-lipped peccaries live in large groups of up to 200 individuals. A herd of this size can even scare off pumas and jaguars – not least because the pigs are literally armed to the teeth with their powerful jaws and spearlike canines.

Did you know that ...

...white-lipped peccaries can weigh up to 40 kg
and the word “peccary” comes from the South American Carib language?

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