Pumba from The Lion King. (Picture source: lipart.toonarific.com/details.php?image_id=943&sessionid=6can1h6v3c4t3j41cjpojo8)

Remember Pumba, the warthog from The Lion King? How would you describe him? Funny? Dumb? Ugly? A scaredy-cat?

Well, the show really captured the essence of a warthog! It REALLY IS funny, ugly, scared of everything, and one sandwich short of a picnic (that means "not too smart" – think about it).

A warthog has short legs on a barrel-shaped body.

Warthogs are actually amazing animals. Even though they may look ferocious, they're actually herbivores, so they don't even TRY to eat the tourists. They're happiest when eating grass and roots. They can also go for a long time without drinking – several months if necessary – so they can survive through the dry season, and don't need to migrate.

A warthog is part of the pig family.

These hogs have a symbiotic relationship with oxpeckers, a type of bird. That means these two animals have a win-win relationship. The birds like to sit on the warthog's back because it's covered with bugs (the birds' favorite snack). The warthog likes to have the birds sit on its back because it wants to get rid of the bugs that are biting it and sucking its blood. We might say these animals are interdependent because they help each other survive.

The warthog's head is an unusual shape.

I must admit that the warthog is the ugliest animal I've ever seen! (No offense, Pumba.) Its head is big and flat. Plus, it has two big "warts" growing from the sides of its head. Add to that the scruffy little hairs growing on a mostly bald head, and tusks that would look better on an elephant, and you've got one….ugly….animal!

Most warthogs ran away as soon as the safari truck came close.

The warthogs were more afraid of our safari truck than any other animal. The elephants and lions would mostly ignore us. The giraffes and zebras would look at us cautiously and then walk away. Most of the time, as soon as we were close enough to take a photo, the warthogs would run! Because of this, my few warthog photos are my most prized pictures.

I loved watching these animals. In most cases, that meant watching them run. They are very funny looking! They have these short little legs, on this barrel-shaped body, trying to hold up a huge head. But they can move VERY fast – over 30 miles per hour! To get an idea of how fast this is, YOU try running 30 miles an hour. You can't. So now ask a parent to drive 30 miles/hour while you're in the car, and imagine a warthog running next to you. After you stop laughing at the sight, you'll appreciate how fast this is for an animal with such short legs and such a fat body.

Besides less laughter from the tourists, how do you think the Serengeti area would change if there were no warthogs? Would it make a difference to the ecosystem?

27 thoughts on “Warthogs

  1. Warthogs are pretty funny-looking. It should be in Australia, where all there animlas are funny-looking. Are there any warthogs in Australia?

  2. Warthogs are so cool! I like them because they are so original! I have never seen an animal quite like them. Though some pigs do look like them, they are in the same family.

    • Warthogs usually run away from people, but there have been cases of them attacking a person when they felt threatened. They are herbivores, eating grass, and plant roots and tubers, so they wouldn’t want to eat a person.

  3. warhogs are so cool my friend MacKayla said they are gross but they ate amazing you must have injoyed watching threm and had fun.

  4. Warthogs are so amazing they look cool MacKayla said it is gross but i think it is awsome you must have been amazed and had fun looking at it when it said warthog i thought it was a frog.

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