In the gorge

2017-06-27 06:01
A bush pig goes ‘walkabout’. Photo: supplied

A bush pig goes ‘walkabout’. Photo: supplied

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THIS month Kloof Conservancy features the bush pig (Potamochoerus larvatus), probably the most dangerous mammal species in the gorge, but one that is very seldom seen because it is nocturnal.

Many Kloof homes, particularly along watercourses have night visits from bushpigs and don’t even know it. As this species is mainly nocturnal you are unlikely to come across it in Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, but you can easily identify their droppings and where they been digging for roots.
Bush pigs, unlike porcupines, tend to be messy diggers and usually dig up a patch of over a square metre. You could find their spoor on the Molweni Trail in the vicinity of Ronald’s Kloof Weir or along the Molweni River.

 Males have more glands than any other hoofed African mammal, hoof and carpal glands on feet, preputial penis gland, tusk, anal, chin, neck mane glands. Their eyesight is relatively poor, but smell and hearing are extremely acute.

The large canine teeth of the adults project as tusks, but are not as long or curved as those of the warthog. The lower tusks are sharpened on the tip and along the edge by occlusion with the upper canines and are formidable weapons when used and this is what makes them dangerous.

Once a year, before rainy season begins, sows gives birth to one to four piglets in a hollow nest in deep bush, after gestation period of 120 to 127 days. They are polygynous (one male mates with multiple females), with boars playing active role in rearing and protecting piglets. Piglets are independent at six months.

Security: walking in the reserve is safe - normal precautions apply when walking in isolated areas. - Kloof Conservancy.


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