Bush Pig

Bush Pig


Name

Bush Pig [Potamochoerus larvatus]

Appearance

The Bush Pig is a strong, stocky pig with powerful forequarters. Its upper tusks are barely visible, but the lower tusks are razor sharp and grow to 7cm in length. It is very dangerous when surprised in the bush or wounded during hunting, it can inflict serious wounds with the sharp, protruding canines. An adult boar measures up 900mm at the shoulder and can weigh as much 60 Kgs.

Diet

Bush Pigs can thrive in close proximity to human settlements as a consequence of their stealth and predilection for agricultural food crops such, potatoes, maize, tomatoes, sugar cane and other vegetables. Some farmers consider the Bush Pig as a pest because of such crop damage. In the wild they feed on plant roots, rhizomes, bulbs, tubers, fruits and insect larvae which are rooted from the subsurface soil.

Behaviour

Bush Pigs are also the largest animals in the subregion to build nests. Sows bite off grass and pile it into heaps up to 3m across and one metre high, which when completed looks like a small haystack. Apart from suckling them, the sows leave the care of piglets to the dominant boar. It also readily wades in water to reach aquatic plants, and is a strong swimmer which wallows in mud to cool down. Once piglets are introduced to the group, boars assume the role of protector. Piglets remain with the group until the age of six months, and thereafter are evicted from the group by the dominant pair.

Bush Pigs are also the largest animals in the subregion to build nests. Sows bite off grass and pile it into heaps up to 3m across and one metre high, which when completed looks like a small haystack. Apart from suckling them, the sows leave the care of piglets to the dominant boar. It also readily wades in water to reach aquatic plants, and is a strong swimmer which wallows in mud to cool down. Once piglets are introduced to the group, boars assume the role of protector. Piglets remain with the group until the age of six months, and thereafter are evicted from the group by the dominant pair.

Where they are found

Found in dense forests and underbrush situations along rivers, streams and at the bases of mountains of the Eastern Cape Province, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Northern Province of South Africa, and further northwards through tropical Africa.

Predators

Their main predators of Bushpig are Leopards and man. They are considered problem animals in most places they occur due to their habit of destroying crops

Find out more information on the Bushpig.



 
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