WARTHOG

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phacochoerus africanus
SIZE: 90 – 150 cm (Adult, Head and body)

WEIGHTWeight (Female) 45 – 70 kg; Weight (Male) 60 – 100 kg

Warthogs are day animals and spend most of their time looking for food. They are normally found in family groups. Warthogs have the peculiar habit of kneeling on the front knees while feeding and foraging in a localised area. They shelter in burrows at night, which they enter tail first. Socially, three main groups are encountered, namely solitary boars, bachelor groups and matriarchal groups. Matriarchal groups consist of adult sows with their young and yearlings. Boars play no part in rearing piglets and seldom associate with sows outside the mating process. Promiscuous, both sexes will mate with more than one partner. Warthogs can frequently be found at waterholes where they dig in the marsh and wallow in the mud with obvious enthusiasm.

Habitat

Warthogs have a wide habitat tolerance, although its distribution range shows a strong correlation with open woodland savannahs.

Where they are found

A wharthog running in the bush.Warthogs are widely distributed, and presently not threatened in South Africa. They still occur naturally on farms throughout the range, and is being re-introduced into the areas where they have become locally extinct. They are also found in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania. They occur in open savannah around water holes and marshy areas throughout the Kruger National Park.

Predators

Image of a wharthog grazing.The young may be taken by Eagles and Jackal with Lion, Hyaena, Cheetah, Leopard and Crocodile being the main enemies of the adults.

 

Gestation Period

3 months

No of Young

1 – 8 piglets

Sexual Maturity

18 months

Birth Weight

600 g

Order

Artiodactyla

Family

Suidae

Running Speed

40 km/h

Horns

Tusks average at 25 cm

Breeding

September – December

Spoor Description

Hoofs are narrower than those of Bushpigs, and the dew claws usually mark clearly in the spoor.

Field Notes

The Warthog is one of the best loved creatures, immortalised in Hollywood movies such as The Lion King – and also one of the best loved prey of the African savannah with a range of predators preying on adults and young Warthogs alike.