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.