Wonderful Warthogs

Warthog, Botswana

Warthog, Botswana

A member of the swine family, the Warthog can only be found in sub-Saharan Africa.  Named for the male’s face bumps, the “warts” are really just thickened skin and gristle that absorb blows and protect the eyes.

 

They are unfortunately hunted by humans for their ivory tusks; but their conservation status is not threatened and is of “least concern.”  Warthogs have a good reproduction rate (2-5 piglets per season) and gestation is relatively short (5-6 months), two factors that help with stabilizing the species population.

Warthog

Warthog

 

The pig-like body of Phacochoerus africanus weighs approximately 150-200 pounds (68-90 kg).  With an omnivorous diet they eat anything from bark and fungi to insects, eggs, and carrion.  The only pig species that has adapted to savannah grazing, in the wet season they eat short perennial grasses; and survive the dry season by eating bulbs, rhizomes, and roots.

 

Warthog,-BotswanaThe warthog’s major defense is its ability to sprint.  With ferocious African predators like lions, crocodiles, hyenas, and wild dogs, they have to be very fast.  They also have burrows that they readily escape into, and their tusks are formidable fighting tools as well.  While on a Serengeti walking safari, we came across some holes close to the ground; the guide warned us not to stand in front of one.  The warthogs back into their burrow and are known to come out charging, tusk first.

 

I have never seen a tougher pig, for they walk with confidence and when they run, it is like lightning.   They grunt, growl, and squeal expressing greetings and threats, zip across the savannah with their upright tails, and travel gregariously in groups known as sounders.  Warthogs-running,-Zambia

 

I have known not one person, including myself, who can ever get enough of the warthogs.  They vanish in an instant, and we’re always looking for the next one.

 

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

Warthogs, Zambia

Warthogs, Zambia

 

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43 thoughts on “Wonderful Warthogs

  1. Good morning Jet – The Warthog is a beautiful creature warts and all. The picture of the warthog running and mane flying looks like a small horse. Thanks for the wonderful narrative, an unexpected mini animal course, loved it.

    • Oh I am so glad you enjoyed it Sharon! And finally a creature you can literally say is “beautiful…warts and all!” Many thanks for your frequent visits, support, and warm comments my friend. 😀

  2. Wonderful warthogs indeed! I’m so happy to see more photos of this very cool (and often under-appreciated) animal 🙂 Please give my regards to Athena as well 🙂

    • They’re tough little troopers in a world of very big mammals, and yes, sweethearts. Roslyn, I guess you don’t have a blog site anymore, but I sure enjoy it when you come for a visit — thank you! 😀

  3. An interesting write up on the Warthog. Those photos clearly shows us their strong tusks and tough skins! There is so much to learn from your posts, Jet! Thank you for sharing with us all this information… 🙂

    • It is such a pleasure to share information, Iris, and I appreciate your receptiveness so much. Part of my background is teaching…. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment, my friend. 😀

  4. Fascinating! Rather ugly (by this human’s standards) and pretty weird — with a mane and upright tail and warts, but fascinating! They kind of look as if they were designed by a committee.

    • They are definitely unusual, but all their quirky features suit them well. They’re hardy warriors in a brutal world. Glad you found the post fascinating, dear Nan, and appreciate your visit. 😀 😀

  5. Thanks for this nice and informaative post, Jet! I saw many of them in various countries, including in Zambia, but as I was not much into photography then, I have almost no pics of them.

    • There was no fear because we were safe in a safari vehicle for most of the photos. When we were on the safari walk, as referred to in the post, I was VERY scared, but our guide had a rifle in case of emergency. How very nice to have you visit and comment, Beth — thank you! 😀

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