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Guide to the mammal species of Southern Africa

Bushpig - Potamochoerus porcus
Travel Writer: EcoTravel Africa  

Bushpigs vary greatly in colour throughout their range. Seldom seen, but easily identified by their ominous, harsh grunt and piglike appearance, this wily night-time raider with an appetite for domestic crops infuriates farmers with destructive forages into nearby farmlands.

Photographer: EcoTravel Africa 

Aggressive and courageous, bushpigs are positively dangerous to pursuing dogs, as the boars often turn on them and slash at them with their razor-sharp tusks. They are gregarious but secretive: bushpig families numbering as many as 12, but usually 6 - 8, avoid human and predatory interest by sheltering in dense, almost inaccessible undergrowth.

Soon after dusk, Bushpigs leave their hides, travelling along well-worth paths through the bush in search of food. Their diet consists of roots, fruit and vegetatables, as well as a variety of insects, eggs, reptiles and carrion. They root with the upper hard edge of the shout in a similar way to warthogs, and often follow vervet monkeys and baboons around so they can eat the fruit they dislodge. Bushpigs wallow in mud which keeps them cool, as well as protecting their skin from insect bites. The dominant boar will guard and lead the piglets to feeding areas, and will challenge and aggressively drive other boars off their feeding grounds. The sow burrows into carefully constructed heaps of grass to deliver three or four young. Although staunchly defensive of their offspring, the boar and sow become intolerant of them after about six months, and drive the young pigs out. Young bushpigs are hardier than young warthogs and do not require burrows to shelter in, as they are better able to control their body temperature.

More facts about Bushpigs

Best places to see the Bushpig in Southern Africa:

Kruger National Park (South Africa)
Pilanesberg National Park (South Africa)
Addo Elephant National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
Tembe Elephant Park

Mammals of Southern Africa    >> Printable List <<
Wildlife - Fauna & Flora of Southern Africa

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Learn more about the Bushpig - Potamochoerus porcus with Wildlife Campus. Course content includes in-depth information about Bushpig habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

Southern Africa has many top Game / Nature Reserves, and is home to many of the mammals of southern Africa. Numerous wildlife safari and tour companies operate guided tours to Southern Africa. Popular adventure travel activities in Southern Africa include: horse riding safaris, elephant back safaris, mountain biking, birding, wilderness walking trails, science safaris and volunteering especially for GAP year students.
Southern Africa Wildlife - Fauna & Flora
Amphibians Ecology
Birds Trees
Fishes Shrubs
Mammals Grasses
Reptiles : Snakes Herbaceous Plants
Invertebrates Fungi : Mushrooms
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