An animal that I know as “ugly cute”, often seen while on a gamedrive and often overlooked Warthogs are actually remarkable creatures.

Here are some interesting facts you may not know about them:

Warthogs have inherited their name due to the big wart like bumps that they have on their faces. The males get larger warts then the females especially close to their eyes, this is used to protect their eyes from another males tusks when they are fighting. You can see the difference between the male and female from the photo above, the female is on the left and the male on the right.

Warthogs are good at digging up roots and other food items but they don’t dig their own burrows. Warthogs will make use of burrows or tunnels made by other animals such as aardvark or porcupines. Sometimes sharing the burrow with one of these nocturnal animals as they are active during the day. When going into the burrow the warthog will go in bum first that way the head is facing the entrance, not only for a quick getaway but also so that its weapons (tusks) are facing the right way if needed.

Piglets are always so cute! The female will give birth within the safety of a burrow where the little piglets will stay until they are around 6-8 weeks old. When warthogs run their tails take to the sky making it easy for them to follow each other through the long grass, hence the reason this is called a “follow me sign“.

A warthogs main diet is vegetation but like other pigs they are omnivores and have been documented eating meat off carcasses.

During hot days you will often see these mammals wallowing in mud pools which they love to do. This not only works as a sunscreen and to help cool down but also works as a parasite control. Once the mud hardens the warthog will go and rub against a rock or tree stump removing the dry mud and any parasites such as ticks that get trapped in it.

In April we did a blog post introducing you all to “Rain” the only female cheetah in Pilanesberghttps://www.mankwegametrackers.co.za/meet-rain-and-her-three-cubs/).

Her three male cubs that we wrote about in the last post are doing very well and thriving in the North of the park. Rain was seen with the two big males a couple of months ago and there after no sightings of her had been reported. We were all starting to get a little worried that something had happened to her. Something had happened to her but it was something exciting that we were all ecstatic to find out about…

Rain has four new cubs that are estimated to be around 8-10 weeks old. Since they were sighted last week there have been numerous sightings of them and both them and mom seem to be doing well. It is very exciting to have yet another litter of cheetah cubs to watch grow. Rain did a fantastic job with the boys and we hope she will be as successful with this litter.

A sighting that the guides and guests will not soon forget.

Field guide Tarryn Rae elaborates for us: “It was a rather cold morning in Pilanesberg and I was actually taking guests to do the hot air balloon safari. The weather wasn’t playing along and at the last minute the wind picked up and balloon had to be cancelled”.

“As we were making our way back I heard an update on the radio that there were lions on a kill down one of the dirt roads we were going to be passing. I told my guests about the sighting and everyone agreed that it would make the early start to the day worth it, if we could go to the sighting. . . So glad that we did”.

“When we arrived you could see the lions were on a wildebeest kill. They had probably killed it during the night in the open grass area where they now lay. We sat there for awhile watching them eat and move around to a more comfy spot to have a snooze. I noticed some movement behind us as a “crash” of White Rhinos emerged from the tree line. At first I didn’t think they would come too close to the lions but they kept coming as if they were inquisitive about all the commotion”.

“They seemed to have a mutual respect, the lions however were not comfortable with the intruders. We were all so excited, it was so great to see this type of interaction between two phenomenal animals”.

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