A Warthog Only a Mother Could Love!

May 03, 2013
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Warthogs are certainly one of Africa’s most bizarre creatures. At first glance, the warthog looks somewhat like a pig of “some sort.” However, when viewed closely or through binoculars, they are actually much stranger than just a type of pig. 

The warthog is grayish or sometimes brownish in color, with little hair on the body but a mane of long very course hair on the shoulders and back, white hair tufts on the cheeks and a tuft of dark hair on the tip of the tail.  Whenever a warthog is alarmed (running) the tail is held erect and the tuft of hair on the tail tip is like a flag.  The head is really large with two big knobs (warts) that stick out of the head just below and behind the eyes. There are two other knobs on the cheeks and the boars have two big tusks that curve upward and inward.  Warthogs groups are known as “sounders” with numerous females and their young. 

A boar will accompany a sounder of females if a sow is in estrus. Warthogs dig burrows, where they can escape the heat of the day and avoid their most prevalent predator, the lion. One behavioral characteristic of the warthog, in regards to feeding, is that they drop onto their knees (front legs only) so their rump is high in the air and their mouth is at ground level. Then they use their snout to dig for roots and graze on grass. Warthogs are abundant over much of Africa and commonly observed during IE’s Kenya & Tanzania safaris in areas where lakes and or water holes are present. They greatly enjoy a good mud wallow.
 

Naturalist Greg Greer is a favorite among IE travelers, and has gained a reputation for his friendliness and good humor, along with his incomparable knowledge of natural history, photos and articles have been widely published in books and magazines, including Georgia Outdoor News, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Alabama Outdoor News, Riversedge and Southern Wildlife.