Often regarded as a hard-featured animal, the warthog is the protagonist in our slightly different Christmas story – of warts and African folklore. As is well known, one can argue about beauty.
African folklore – „God created the warthog to be a fine-looking pig. He was so good-looking that he became vain and rude to all the other animals. He loved to insult others and then run to his den, often an abandoned aardvark hole, which he had enlarged and renovated.
One day while warthog was out grazing, porcupine decided to borrow his hole for a brisk nap. At the same time, warthog could not resist insulting a nearby lion who chased him back to his snug little home. Warthog was so focused on escaping the lion’s massive teeth that he ran headlong into the awakened, defensive porcupine. With a face-full of quills, warthog desperately tried to find someone to help him extract the barbs. But those who hurl insults all day long don’t find help when they need it.
He had to scrape the quills off by himself using a nearby acacia tree. This left his face disfigured with scars and warts. It has been that way ever since. And now warthog backs gently into his hole to protect his face from unwelcome guests who may be squatting within.“ (From: When the Hippo was Hairy and Other tales from Africa; Nick Greaves.).
The bigger, the better
With Humans, warts are usually unwanted and many rush to the doctor to have them removed. But for warthogs, warts are important – the bigger, the better.
Given the warthog its name, their warts are a thick growth of skin and serve as protective bumps from pointy tusks during fights. For this reason male warthogs have bigger warts, as they fight more. By looking at the warts, one can tell the sex of the animal. Males have four warts, two large ones beneath the eys and two smaller ones above the mouth. Females only have two small ones below their eyes. Can you guess the gender of the warthog pictured?
The warthog is still a common sight in numerous protected areas in Namibia, but this species is susceptible to drought and hunting (especially with dogs), which leads to a sharp decline in numbers in some parts of the country. This is where ONE would like to help: protect game and preserve intact habitats. You can help. Actively. Directly. As a shareholder. Get your piece of bush savannah for Christmas – with oryx, giraffe and warthog.
Enough talk of warts! It is time again and on behalf of ONE Namibia and our partners, we wish you a joyous festive season! We thank you all for your support during the past year and look forward to an exciting a prosperous 2022. Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!