Warthog.. A Beautiful Pig..

The Warthog or Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus).

The common name comes from the four large, wart-like…warts…found on the head of the warthog, it’s a fat reserve and are used for defence when males fight.

But this poor fellow.. The humble Warthog is so ugly that he’s beautiful….The upper canine teeth can grow to 25.5 cm (10.0 in) long, and are of a squashed circle shape in cross section, almost rectangular, being about 4.5 cm (1.8 in) deep and 2.5 cm (0.98 in) wide. A tusk will curve 90 degrees or more from the root, and will not lie flat on a table, as it curves somewhat backwards as it grows. The tusks are used for digging, for combat with other hogs, and in defence against predators—the lower set can inflict severe wounds.

The warthog is the only pig species that has adapted to grazing and savannah habitats. Its diet is omnivorous, composed of grasses, roots, berries and other fruits, bark, fungi, insects, eggs and carrion. The diet is seasonably variable, depending on availability of different food items. During the wet seasons warthogs graze on short perennial grasses. During the dry seasons they subsist on bulbs, rhizomes and nutritious roots.

One of these Hogs cost me a sure win and I am going to paste a short extract (out of a book I’m writing), how one of these animals had me loose a golf game… This happened on the Skukuza Golf Course in the Kruger National Park..  here goes…

“The uniqueness of this course? the possibility to meet a wild animal, made the course even more attractive. They had a local rule allowing the repair on the greens of animal hoof marks, something few courses can brag about. I had heard of a tournament being suspended mid way, due to Lion killing a Giraffe besides the third fairway, another because of a group of Elephant with young, deciding to pass through. I, allowed relief due to a Black Mamba sojourning above my golf ball in a tree, these type happenings make the course a unique experience.

However, on the occasion I am writing about, my partner and I were having a particularly good game, dove-tailing beautifully, placing us well up on the opposition. Arriving at the thirteenth hole we were five up and six to go, this would be an easy game for us to win. Two halves on the next two holes and a sound trouncing of the opposite side would have been the result. It wasn’t, a warthog, a wild pig type animal, with tusks on either side of his mouth used for digging up roots and other tasty bits of their diet, met us on the green.

My partner had played a magnificent second shot, after a tree had caught mine, it placed us within a winning situation on this green. Sink the putt and a result of six up and five to go, a very good trouncing. However when we crested the rise, we discovered a huge Boar Warthog kneeling and eating grass not two metres from the resting place of his great second shot. My partner, scared of these animals, would not approach his ball, and even though I and the opposition assured him of his safety, he was a reluctant participant.

The opposition, knowing I had no chance of beating either of their scores naturally used a bit of one-up-man-ship, on my partner. They informed him “as long as the Boar continues to eat you’re safe.” This was no assurance to him, and with my encouragement he approached his ball, with an eye on the Boar he lined up his shot. The problem being, every time he crouched to strike his ball, the Boar would stop eating, and watch him with a sideways glance. This was too much for my partner and in the end he picked up his ball and conceded the score.

As it turned out, this was the turning point in the game, we lost, with them winning the remaining holes to take the game one up at the end. Him and I received the ribbing of our team after the game, when it told to us, that this Boar, a regular on the course was partly tame and had even allowed players to rub its back.”    A few pictures…

037

Thur 21-07-2011 214

Thur 21-07-2011 213

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

game res 18-07-2011 143

Thur 21-07-2011 215

Thur 21-07-2011 210

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37 thoughts on “Warthog.. A Beautiful Pig..

  1. Wow. I would never have thought them beautiful… but you brought the beauty out in them!

    Very interesting post.

  2. Great photos BD and the golf story is super. I can’t wait to read your book…I can image all the stories you must have. I have to say, I’ve only seen warthogs on TV and flying overhead… A-10’s that is. This was a nice treat to be able to really look at them through your photos!

    • Thanks for the complement… they are wonderful pigs to watch… with so much attached in the way of tenacity… mothers chasing off lion and leopard etc… never witnessed it myself but would sure like too..

  3. This creature is entirely new to me. When I first saw your photos I thought, what on earth?? These are just wonderful Bulldog… and you learn something new every day…” a beautiful pig” who could have thought?!!! xo

  4. Heyyyyyy, it’s Pumbaa from the Lion King!! How could your partner be afraid of sweet little Pumbaa? LOL. Frankly, I wouldn’t have been comfortable that close to him either, and I sure hope your amazing photos were taken with a zoom lens from far, far away! He’s really kind of cute ugly if that makes sense :). Great shots as usual!!

    • The photos where taken from close up… they tolearate you even in the wild… just don’t make any sudden moves he will attack you before he runs away… but they are quite friendly.. we had a tame one in the army camp at Kariba when I was doing my National service… you could lie with your head on his gut and rest he loved it.. (damn hard though)

  5. I LOVE these piccies of our piggy pig pig friends! Have you ever played with one? When they nuzzle you with their tough leathery nose and poke you with their little trotters! It’s so adorable and so much fun! I hate people wo harm them, like for trophies and and stuff – but we’ve had this discussion before so I won’t go there again! Those little tails and the bristly fur!

    • Oh yes I spent half a year in a camp where one was a pet.. a playful nudge from him at breakfast time normally ensure you spilt your coffee for him to drink… I actually had a rest with him one day and lay with my head on his gut… hard as hell but good for a hangover, specially seeing I was in the army at lake Kariba…

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