Domestic Pigs

Domestic Pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus)   Pigs were domesticated thousands of years ago from European and Asian wild boars. They were relatively easy to domesticate because they naturally congregate in small groups and they will feed on most anything. In many domestic situations, pigs were fed the leftover scraps of their human keepers. So in addition to providing meat, they acted as garbage disposals as well. It is believed there are over 1 billion domestic pigs worldwide, making it one of the most numerous large mammal species living on the planet.   There are hundreds of recognized breeds of pig, much like dogs. Most breeds normally weigh in between 150 and 750 pounds, but some were bred for smaller sizes. These smaller breeds usually stay under 100 pounds and are often kept as pets.

These are the type of pigs we have here at Ardastra. Our piglets were all born in 2014 at farms in the United States. They arrived here before Christmas, and are settling in nicely. They are on display in our barnyard area across from the goats.

Domestic Rabbits

Domestic rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae and are found in many parts of the world. Rabbit habitats can include forests, wetlands and grasslands, but many rabbits are domesticated and, if adequately cared for, can live up 12 years. Domestic rabbits, such as the ones at Ardastra, like to eat fresh hay, rabbit pellets, and fresh vegetables. They also need plenty of fresh water. Although it is hot in The Bahamas, as long as rabbits have plenty of shelter from the sun and can cool off, they enjoy the climate.

There are four friendly rabbits at our petting zoo that love the attention they get from our visitors.

Madagascar Lemurs

The ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) is a primate native to southern Madagascar. Ring-tailed lemurs are easily identified because of their bushy, black and white ringed tail. These animals are active during the day and feed on fruit, leaves, bark, sap, and even insects. Ring-tailed lemurs spend more time on the ground that any other lemur species, but also use their hands and feet to move through the forest trees. Females are dominant in these mammals often aggressively defending their home range and they are typically found in groups of anywhere from 3 to 25 animals. In the wild, lemurs have been known to live up to 16 years.

In 1985 two males and two females were brought in from Duke University Primate Center in North Carolina and they are the parents of the lemurs that we currently have at Ardastra. Rocky and Buddy live together and were born in 1989 and 1986. Alicia and Junior live in another exhibit and were born in 1991 and 2004. All of them are friendly animals and love grapes and bananas.