Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The A - Z April Challenge: W

W is for Warthog
Common Warthogs are not considered the most aesthetically pleasing animals in Africa. Mostly bald, they have large flat heads sporting “warts”, which are actually four large bumps serving as protection. Along with their two sets of tusks -one set curved, one straight- wart-hogs are ferocious-looking creatures indeed.
Despite their appearance, these fellows are herbivores, spending their days grazing on the savannah, and choosing to flee rather than fight if a situation arises. Nonetheless, they are capable of inflicting great damage with those tusks when they choose to take a stand.
Their main predators are humans, lions, leopards and crocodiles. Current warthog numbers insure they’re not on the endangered list but human hunting continues to do great damage to scattered groups.
W is also for Wildebeest
The Blue Wildebeest, also known as the Gnu, inhabits plains and open woodlands, and can be found in great numbers in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.


The Serengeti herds are migratory and abandon the plains after the rainy season has ended to seek fresh grass in wetter areas. Beginning in May, more than a million wildebeest migrate over 800 miles north from the Serengeti, across the Mara River, and onto the open grasslands of the Masai Mara to feed until November, at which time they head south again.
Wildebeest numbers remain high, but thousands die each year during the long migration, and their many predators definitely keep the herds in check.

 We were much taken with the wildebeests. Given their large size and stern demeanor, these animals surprised us with their boisterous natures, seeming to run and frolic for the simple joy of it as they kicked up dust and barked loudly to one another.
 I suspect some of it was to impress females, and some to establish dominance in the herd, but there seemed such celebration in their antics that it left us grinning for hours afterwards

For more A - Z posts, be sure to pop by Arlee Bird's site and see what others have done with the letter W...


Keetha Broyles said...

Ah, the warthog was my FAVORITE animal on the African Plains. I just LOVED seeing him run through the tall brown grass with his tail up in the air and that fluff on the end waving like a little heart as he went.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Neither one would win a beauty prize, it's true.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

What AWESOME photos! Wow...are the wart hogs related to pigs? (hogs??) and the wildabeast looks like a horse and a bull mixed :-)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I identify with the saggy warthog:) Love the photos of the wildebeeste. I read somewhere - I think it was Joy Packer - that fences built by farmers interfered with the wildebeeste's migratory routes and many of them die trapped on the wrong side of the fence. So sad.

Fantastic photos and interesting info, as always, Lynette.

Kay L. Davies said...

Well, hey, Lynette, you just gotta love a gnu.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

adrielleroyale said...

Love this :)

Katy Cameron said...

It has to be said that netiehr of the 'W's are beauties, but hey one has to be prettier than SOMETHING lol

jabblog said...

Your photos are like paintings - quite lovely.

Pat said...

I'm glad to know that warthogs are herbevores--and tend to be conflict-avoiders, because I'd always thought they were dangerous beasts!

I love the shot of the wildebeest frolicking!