Monday, 5 September 2011

Braving a Bushpig

The Bushpig (Potamochoerus larvatus) is a strong, stocky pig with powerful forequarters. Unlike 'farm' pigs, the tails are straight, and they do not hold them erect when they run like warthogs do. Their upper tusks are barely visible, but the lower tusks are razor sharp and grow to 7cm in length and so they are considered to be very dangerous when surprised in the bush or wounded during hunting. An adult boar measures up to a meter at the shoulder and can weigh from 50 to 150 kilograms. They have a reputation as being very vicious – so now think about how I felt this morning when I went to check the leopard cage and found a roaring Bushpig inside!

As I was on my bicycle and alone, I headed home for reinforcements. If I was to be torn apart by a wild pig, I wanted it to be documented. This time we made sure the camera settings were all good so we didn't miss the moment (see the story about catching the Clawless Otter). Approaching the cage, the Bushpig charged around like a mad thing, shaking the cage as it charged into the iron bars. Usually I open the cage from the side for things like Aardvark or bokkies, but today I thought it would be safest to undertake this procedure perched safely on the top of the cage. Luckily, on opening the door, the Bushpig simply ran away up the mountain.

Face-off with the Bushpig

Releasing the Bushpig from on top of the cage


The action was documented by Chris Lee from the safety of our Hilux bakkie.

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