Chacoan Peccaries are the largest and least common out of the three species of peccary. They have special adaptations such as their kidneys and two-chambered stomachs, which can break down cacti and digest tough foods. They use their snouts to remove cacti spines and forage succulent plants to stay hydrated. Their scent glands on their backs give off a strong, musky odor, used to mark territory and identify individuals.
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. Their formerly isolated habitat disappeared due to ranches and hunting. Elmwood Park Zoo participates in the Chacoan Species Survival Plan, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Find me at EPZ
Location: North side of Zoo; Adjacent to giraffe/zebra enclosure
Arrived at EPZ: Joanie - 07/02/2008; Yavi - 5/26/2021