Paula Gilhooley…..Warthogs in Kruger National Park and Marloth Park

IMG_2263Warthogs occur almost everywhere in Kruger National Park and Marloth Park.  They are quite comical in appearance with a compact body, short neck with a heavy long head that tapers to a blunt snout.  Their skin is grey and wrinkled and sparsely covered with coarse hairs with a crest running down the middle of their back.  The ears have rounded tips and their small eyes are set high on the head.  Beneath each eye are prominent bumps, or warts.  Males have an additional pair of warts further down on the snout.   The canine teeth form large tusks, growing outwards then curving upwards and over the top of the snout.  the upper canines are longer and thicker than the lower ones.  Along the bottom edge of the jaw is a fringe of bristles growing sideways.

Warthogs live in open grasslands and woodlands and the bulk of their diet is grass but almost anything is eaten including fruit and bark and occasionally carrion.  They can become a nuisance in garbage cans  and stealing cattle food etc. Babies eat their mothers dung to inoculate their guts with bacteria.

Active during the day and resting at night.  They shelter in large holes, usually abandoned burrows of other animals.  Holes are modified by digging with their forefeet.

Babies are born between October and November at the beginning of the rainy season with an average of 5 babies per liter.  They often move in family and other loose groups.When eating they will kneel on their front knees to better reach the food source.IMG_6762

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