|Little decided to check out the inside of the house. I was in the kitchen chopping vegetables when he entered and looked up to see this! We both couldn’t stop laughing.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|Adorable young duiker has become more at ease approaching the veranda for pellets. As the smallest in the antelope family, they are often the last to be able to eat when the larger animals chase them off. Whenever we see them alone, we make sure they have plenty on their own.|
As our long-time readers are well aware, I love pigs. They are intelligent and readily make eye contact with deep expression and, they appear to have an excellent memory:
“Pigs are actually considered the fifth-most intelligent animal in the world—even more intelligent than dogs—and are capable of playing video games with more focus and success than chimps! They also have excellent object-location memory.”
|Yesterday, Little gingerly climbed the several steps up to the veranda, looking for pellets.|
We can’t underestimate their ability to interact with us, not unlike a dog or other domesticated animal. No doubt, warthogs are not domesticated, and nor are we purporting they should be especially warthogs who thrive in a life in the wild foraging for food, mating, and raising piglets to adulthood.
|Once he was situated, we brought him some fruit and veg.|
With the recent visits of the mom and four piglets, we’ve witnessed a loving and attentive mother, concerned for the well-being of her young, to the point of putting her own life at risk. We’ve watched her chase off bigger and stronger male warthogs to ensure her piglets get in on the pellet action.
|I sat quietly in the chair next to him, wanting to make him feel at ease.|
But today’s story is about Little, a warthog who’s been visiting us for the past six months. His gentle soul and good nature with other animals, while sharing the pellets has astounded us, making him hold a special place in our hearts.
|This was yesterday afternoon after he’d climbed the steps to the veranda. He ate some pellets and left. But today, was an entirely new scenario as shown in our video and photos.|
When we first saw him enter the cement pond a few months ago, he endeared himself to us further. He splashes around in the tiny pond cooling off on a very hot day, often putting his face underwater while taking a big gulp of the water we keep clean. Well, as clean as you can keep a pond clean that a pig swims in. Our pond is emptied and cleaned once a week.
|Little doesn’t care for lettuce, but likes pellets, carrots, apples, and pears.|
Since that time, he’s visited many times on hot days to do the same. He easily knows his name and looks up at us when we call him. His expressions are of great interest and curiosity. We have no doubt he is the same when he visits other bush homes in Marloth Park.
What originally inspired me in 2012, to convince Tom, we needed to come to Marloth Park was a photo Louise had on her website of a pig, napping in front of a fireplace in a bush home.
|Today, he was determined when he climbed the steps, feeling more at “home.” He’s come up the steps to the veranda a few times in the past weeks but now, it’s been two consecutive days. Maybe this will become a regular part of his almost daily visits.|
That single photo inspired me so much, I literally had to plead with Tom to “step outside the box” in our upcoming travels and stay in this wildlife conservancy for at least three months.
|As warthogs do, he was on his knees eating. They have long snouts so nature provided tough knee pads to allow them to scoot around on the knees gathering morsels of food.|
Coincidentally, we arrived in Marloth Park on December 2, 2013, five years ago today. See that post here. Our first official visit at the Hornbill house was a warthog as shown in this photo below.
|At the Hornbill house less than a half-hour after we arrived, this warthog stopped by to welcome us to the neighborhood. He was our first official visitor. For all we know, we’ve seen this warthog during these past many months since our return. They may live as long as 17 years.|
Returning to Marloth Park this past February, my greatest enthusiasm surrounded the opportunity to interact with these funny creatures once again. And, have we ever. There are many warthogs, we recognize and who know us as the generous pellet providers.
|When the pellets are consumed, he waits patiently for more. Although, a few times, he nudged me with his nose.|
Sure, they visit for the food. We have no delusions that the single biggest motivator for them, including Little, is to regularly return to our garden. But, in our heart of hearts, we see their continuing interest in us, curious to as to what us humans are all about and possibly gleaning some form of emotional attachment similar to that we experience from dogs.
|There’s always time in his busy schedule for a pellet break.|
This morning, when Little wandered into the house, this behavior confirmed his curiosity which made us swoon with laughter. And yes, his powerful sense of smell directed him to bags of pellets resting again the wall in the parlor.
|Little is not so little. Hee may weigh up to 136 kg, (300 pounds).|
Had we left him to his own resources we are certain he’d have torn open the bags and had himself the feast of a lifetime. We cut the video short and sent him back outdoors. He didn’t go easily. This doesn’t imply he was aggressive. He was not.
|Little contemplating a nap after his big meal.|
But, he hesitated to leave and we had to toss some pellets to the garden to encourage him to make his way back down the steps for one last bowl of pellets until we cut him off…not for good…but for a “Little” while until he returns again.
We can’t stop smiling. Personally, I’m in “pig heaven” today reeling from the wonderful experience.
May your day leave you reeling with wonderfulness!
Photo from one year ago today, December 2, 2017:
|Tom is getting to be quite the photographer. But, when I compliment him he says, “Even a stopped watch is correct twice a day!” He’s too modest! For more photos, please click here.|