Not the most beautiful of the animals found in the Timbavati, but most definitely one of the most memorable and rather interesting too. Although warthogs are incredibly entertaining, they are rather odd looking which has earned them a spot in the “Ugly 5”. This seems slightly unfair considering they are in fact one of only a few species that are ferocious enough to take on any of the big cats, perhaps they should rather earn a place under a category of the “Brave 5”!
Warthogs have incredibly sharp, short and dangerous tusks, these deadly weapons help to ward off any would-be predators. Most big cats will think twice before taking on an angry pig armed with a pair of razor sharp tusks.
They are also able to run around the bush at break neck speeds, reaching over 40km per hour. That’s faster than Usain Bolt! This amazing speed is greatly needed when you form an integral part of the food chain.
If their tusks or speed don’t work, then, luckily, the warthog has the amazing ability to reverse underground and into their burrows to get away from any predators. These burrows are usually repossessed aardvark holes that the warthogs excavate, providing perfect hide outs. However, this doesn’t always stop predators from attempting to wait them out or even dig them out of their underground chambers.
Many animals have what we call a “follow me” sign, with the warthogs it is their tail shooting straight up into the air. This is an involuntary reaction in order to help the youngsters maintain visual contact with each other or their mom during dangerous and high paced situations.
Warthogs are actually omnivores, not aggressively hunting and meat-eating creatures, but they will feed off carrion and insects, but preferring grass, roots and fruit.
Warthogs have a very unusual eating stance, they get right down on their haunches by folding in their front feet which allows them to move about on their knees and get closer to the food in a more comfortable manner. Their snouts also help them dig up roots, move branches to get to tasty things and are extremely useful when it comes to excavating burrows.