Warthog Orphan

Warthog piglet
November 2010

This is a face only a mother could love! All who know me, know I can’t resist baby faces and love to kiss and cuddle and look after them, whatever species! But this … was a surprise! He got a big cuddle and hug, but no kiss> He was a very little warthog, but I don’t know how old.

Hunters shot Mom
in breeding season
without care
as to whether she was feeding babies or not.
Poor baby was so stressed, dehydrated and starving
he died within days


KINGDOM: Animalia

PHYLUM: Chordata

CLASS: Mammalia

ORDER: Artiodactyla

FAMILY: Suidae

GENUS SPECIES: Phacochoerus (mole or wart, hog) aethiopicus, Phacochoerus africanus
DESCRIPTION: A pig-like animal, black or brown in color, with coarse but sparse hair covering body. Its face is long with fleshy warts and protruding tusks.

As a member of the pig family, it has a naked skin with sparse, long bristles. A characteristic feature of Warthogs are the long curved tusks, which boars grow into fearsome weapons. These tusks are used to dig up roots, which all Warthog love. Males stand 680mm high and weigh 80 Kg. Sows are smaller at a height of 600mm and an average mass of 57 Kg. Wartlike tubercles on the large, flat head is another distinctive feature of this animal. A tuft of hair at the end of the thin tail is very visible when the tail is held erect during running.

DIET: Grasses, roots, berries, bark, and occasionally carrion

LIFE SPAN: Over 18 years

RANGE: Occurs in Central Africa and to the south, from the West Coast to the East Coast

HABITAT: Usually found in savannah and lightly forested areas


Warthogs are day animals and spend most of their time looking for food.


The young may be taken by Eagles and Jackal with Lion, Hyena, Cheetah, Leopard and Crocodile being the main enemies of the adults.


1. Warthogs travel in groups called sounders consisting of 1 or 2 sows and young offspring. Bachelor males usually travel in small groups and old, grumpy hogs stay on their own.

2. Boars have more prominent warts than sows. They are primarily used to protect the face during fights.    

3. Warthogs use burrows for shelter and when entering, the hogs back in bottom first. This enables them to defend themselves. In the mornings, warthogs burst out of their burrows at top speed to get a running start on any predators that may be lurking nearby.  

4. Although they look fierce, warthogs would rather run than fight. But they can be fierce fighters if forced. Warthogs allow birds, such as the yellow hornbills, to eat parasites that live on their bodies. This symbiotic relationship allows the birds to have a constant food source and the hogs to rid themselves of pests. The Warthog are rooting animals and beneficial to the land by churning up the soil and allowing it to be aerated, which aids plant growth.

5. Warthogs have the peculiar habit of kneeling on the front knees while feeding and foraging in a localized area, and their tails stuck straight up in the air like aerials. Great fun to watch.


My Photography

A-Z Archive: W

This week’s topic for our A-Z ARCHIVE = Tuesday’s photo challenge:
the letter “W”:
introduce one photo of your own archive with a “W” keyword

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26 thoughts on “Warthog Orphan

  1. There is a heart breaking news. Hunters should be punished. They have no right to take a life. Man can be cruel, if not heartless at times. May this practice be stopped. Thanks for sharing us his story.


    • Hi Cardinal Guzman, I live in South Africa. They are found all over Africa. The Male is big with very large curved tusks and bony knobs and bumps. They’re rather ugly! They can be very dangerous. They’re also quite comical. They bend their legs so they stand on their knees when eating. When they run their tails stick up like aerials 😉


  2. Oh he is cute, but so sad. I’m not much into hunting, especially for sport. And irresponsible hunters make me so angry. Idiots like these threaten the survival of so many species. Thanks for sharing the photo and for raising awareness. It is hard to learn about, but is necessary for us to know what is really happening.


  3. How sad he didn’t make it and how sad the hunter did… this is the height of cruelty… leaving the young behind to die so that some a..shole can have some fun. Animals are there for us to shoot… with cameras not guns…


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