Magazine article Geographical

Tasty Wart Hog Is the Dish of the Day; between the Lions, Cheetahs and the Game Meat Hunters, Nairobi's Wild Wart Hogs Are Having a Tough Time of It at the Moment. Jonathan Scott Reports on One Who Had a Lucky Escape, and Receives Sad News about Shadow's Cubs. (out of Africa)

Magazine article Geographical

Tasty Wart Hog Is the Dish of the Day; between the Lions, Cheetahs and the Game Meat Hunters, Nairobi's Wild Wart Hogs Are Having a Tough Time of It at the Moment. Jonathan Scott Reports on One Who Had a Lucky Escape, and Receives Sad News about Shadow's Cubs. (out of Africa)

Article excerpt

It has been a bad week for wart hogs. The Dig male who had begun to think of our garden as a second home, and who was already missing his antenna-like tail, ended up with an arrow embedded in his head. Fortunately, wildlife veterinarian Dr Dieter Rottcher was able to remove the arrow.

Mind you, wart hogs have heads like concrete, as I found out to my cost when taking a direct hit from a `friendly' one; I ended up in a heap on the ground with a saucer-sized bruise. But for those with a taste for pork, wart hogs make good eating. Nobody is sure if someone viewed the old male as a source of food or a watchman simply wanted some target practise. The former seems the most likely scenario, as two other wart hogs that made their home around the forested suburb of Langata have ended up caught in a wire snare or with a spear through their tummy.

The hog was taken to Daphne Sheldrick (of hand-raising baby elephants fame) in Nairobi National Park, just five minutes down the road from where we live. He seemed delighted to find himself among other wart hogs including a number of females that come to graze on Daphne's lawn. But the demand for game meat makes it likely that the days of having wildlife in our gardens are numbered.

And that old male pig better be on the alert if he is to avoid those hungry Nairobi Park lions. Lions seem to take a particular interest in wart hogs, particularly the smaller prides which aren't able or willing to try their luck at killing buffalo. …

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