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Phacochoerus africanus 

Linguistics
Actual scientific name :   Phacochoerus africanus 
     
Old scientific name :   Phacochoerus aethiopicus 
     
French name :   Phacochère
     
English name :   Warthog
     
Vernacular name :  
Ngiri (Kitabwa); Mpengi, mpenge (Kikaonde); injili (Kiaushi); Njiri, mâle = Kalenda, femelle = Inanjiri (Kilala); Injili,mâle = ndondi (Kilamba); chihengi, mâle = mpampi (Lunda); ingili, njili (Kibemba) ; lupenge, ngiri, Npenge / Penge, Kilombwezi (Kiluba) ; Ngiri (Kiswahili)
 


 

Zoology
Call :  
     
Description :   Shoulder height: approximately 70 cm. Head and body length: approximately 120 cm. Weight: between 50 and 100 kg. The male is bigger than the female. Body is robust. Legs are short, each foot carries 4 toes. The 2 medians are surrounded with keratin and form a cloven hoof which touches the ground, while the lateral ones are placed higher and do not reach the ground, forming false hooves. The head is proportionally big. The face is flattened and the snout is broad. The eyes are set high on the head. Beneath each eye is a big wart. Males have another pair of warts further down, between the eyes and the tusks. The ears have rounded tips. The canine teeth form prominent tusks. These grow outwards then curve upwards and to the inside forming half a circle. The upper canines are longer and thicker. The lower canines are kept sharp by rubbing against the upper ones. The greyish skin is often colored in yellow or in red because the warthog wallows in the mud. The skin is covered by sparse bristles. A crest of long yellowish, brown or black bristles is present on top the neck and back. There is a fringe of whitish bristles along the bottom edge of the jaw. The tail is long, thin and has a tuft of bristles at its tip. It is carried upwards when the animal runs. 
     
Habitat :   Savannah, grassland, floodplain, vleis.
Quite common in the savannah of the Lufira plain as well as on the high Katangese plateau.  
     
Behaviour :   Warthogs are mainly diurnal but sometimes feed at night. Shelter in abandoned aardvark holes which they widen by digging with their forefeet. They enter their holes backwards to better defend themselves in case of an attack. Warthogs usually live in family groups containing a mature boar, one or two female and their piglets. Old males live solitary. Young males form temporary bachelor groups.
Because of their short necks, warthogs often go down onto their calloused knees when grazing. They frequently wallow in the mud to cool down and remove parasites present on the skin. They also rub on trees and rocks. They mark their home ranges with their urine and by rubbing their lips and their preorbital glands on surrounding objects.
When home ranges of two groups overlap and when the individuals meet, they sniff each other but are generally not aggressive. However, males fight violently when competing for females. Their alarm call is grunt. 
     
Diet :   Grass, plants, bulbs, invertebrates. 
     
Life history :   Warthogs reach their sexual maturity at 1 year and a half.
After about 170 days of gestation, females give birth to a litter of 3 or 4. They are weaned at 6 months.
 
     
Distribution in Katanga :   view map  
 
 
History, Ethnology, Sociology
Interactions with humans :   Almost none. Unlike bushpigs, warthogs rarely visit plantations.

 
     
Taboos :   Muslims dont eat its meat.
Traditionally Baluba's women did not consume it either.
 
     
Legends, believes, folklore :    
     
Fishing, hunting :   Hunted for its trophy as well as for its meat. 
     
Feeding :   Its meat is consumed. 
     
Breeding, taming :   A few cases of tamed warthogs living in semi-captivity are known. 
     
Uses of skin or other body parts :   By the bemba, warthog's tail is soaked in beer. It is supposed to give back vigour to impotent men because it is carried upwards when the animal runs. 
  


Warning :

This database was established according to official pieces of work and with the help of famous scientists. However, there might be some errors.

The vernacular names were collected in the field and in the colonial literature from the first part of the 20th century. The monks who established the first dictionaries were not necessarily informed naturalists. Therefore, errors must have been committed.

We invite everyone who could help us to improve this working tool to contact us in order to correct us and share her/his knowledge with us.



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