Warthogs must be some of the greatest animal characters found in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. These strange looking animals are always a treat to see when on safari, somehow this species always makes our guests laugh or at least smile when they see them for the first time.
Because warthogs don’t just look interesting, but in fact are, here are 10 fun facts about them…
- Most animals in the wild have what we call a “follow me” sign, for warthogs it is putting their tail straight up in the air. This is an involuntary reaction to any sort of excitement and is there to help the other members of the sounder maintain visual contact with each other during dangerous or high-speed situations.
- Warthogs are omnivorous which means they eat both vegetable matter and meat, but the vast majority of the time they happily eat grass, roots and fruits, with only the occasional insect, lizard or bit of carrion.
- Warthogs have a very unusual and rather funny eating stance; they get down on their knees which allows them to get closer to the food in a more comfortable manner.
- They have cleverly learnt to make use of their rather flattened nose by excavating their burrows with this tough facial feature.
- Contrary to what Disney would have us believe; they do not hang out in the bush with a small meerkat singing at the top of their lungs. Yet, when you first see them, you can understand why this was easy to imagine for the Lion King producers.
- They can run at breakneck speeds, often reaching over 40km per hour, which is faster than Usain Bolt!
- This speed is very useful if you consider they form a very integral part of the food chain, all the predators from lions to hyenas to leopards are interested in eating these pigs.
- They are also equipped with some seriously dangerous tusks; these are extremely sharp and can be deadly when warding off predators.
- Warthogs live in underground burrows, which can also be used to evade predators, these burrows are usually repossessed and excavated aardvark holes.