08.03.2017

Did you know? Warthogs feast on the deceased


Warthogs can be found in almost all Namibian regions, even in the isolated Namib Desert. In addition to the main roads in the central regions of the country, they are often seen looking for breaks in the fences between the commercial farms and asphalt roads, ignoring the passing vehicles. These grey animals weigh between 45 and 150 kilograms, and are distantly related to domestic pigs. Standing on their elbows, fore legs bent beneath them, they are within sight of the car drivers as they dig for roots and tubers with their hard noses. Grass, herbs and fresh shoots are also never spurned by animals that are considered to be herbivores.

What most people do not know, however, is that warthogs also eat meat. Again and again, these omnivores have been seen on carcasses, where they enjoy themselves. Particularly during droughts, when there is hardly any fresh plant material, the warthogs satisfy their hunger on the remains of other animals, if necessary also on a fellow-animal. Farmers, who leave meat scraps out for animals, often capture photographs of warthogs on the camera traps, who occasionally visit the scavenger-restaurant for a taste. It is assumed that warthogs go to carcasses if they lack certain minerals.

Dirk Heinrich


Stay up-to-date with our monthly 'Gondwana Tracks' Newsletter