Warthog

© Shem Compion

Name

Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus)

Order

Artiodactyla

Family

Suidae

Appearance

A warthog boar weighs 60 to 100 kg, and a sow 45 to 70 kg. Their tusks have an average length of 25 cm. They can attain a running speed of 40 km/h.

Warthog Breeding

After a gestation period of three months, 1 - 8 piglets are born weighing 600 g each. Breeding occurs between the months of September and December in South Africa.

Warthog Behaviour

Warthogs are diurnal, spending most of their days foraging for food in a limited area. When feeding, they kneel on their front knees. They sleep in burrows at night, entering tail first. They usually occur in family groups, but three main groups exist socially namely matriarchal groups, bachelor groups and solitary boars.

A matriarchal group comprises of adult sows and their young. Boars only interact with sows during the mating period and are uninvolved with the rearing of the piglets. Bots boars and sows have more than a singular mating partner. Warthogs can be spotted at waterholes where they lie in the mud and dig in the marsh.

Warthog Habitat

Warthogs can live in a variety of habitats but are mostly found in the open woodland savannas of South Africa.

Where they are Found

Warthogs are widely distributed and unthreatened in South Africa and populate the open savanna areas around waterholes and marshes in the Kruger National Park. They can also be found on farms and have been reintroduced in regions where they had become extinct. They can also be found in Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania.

Warthog Predators

Fully grown warthogs are threatened by the lion, cheetah, hyena, leopard and crocodile. Warthog young fall prey to the eagle and jackal.

Vital Statistics

Latin Name: Phacochoerus africanus
Weight (Female): 45 - 70 kg
Weight (Male): 60 - 100 kg
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

The warthog’s spoor is narrower than that of the bush pig. Their dewclaws are clearly imprinted in their spoors.

Field Notes

This animal is one of the most hunted prey in the African savanna, as a variety of predators prey on fully grown warthogs and their young.