Warthogs keep to themselves
in the African bush, preferring to run away
rather than stand and fight. But, if cornered, they are fearsome fighters.
Although they have a face only a mother could love, they are one of
my favourite animals. I think they are the comedians of the bush.
Running away from danger, their tail stands straight up in the air.
Sometimes you can see mommy running through the bush followed by
several tails. The rest of her children is hidden by the grass.
One of our tours to the Okavango delta was a hiking tour.
We had several remarkable encounters with wildlife:
At night we pitched camp, made a fire and listened to the sounds of the bush.
Sleeping in my tent one night, I woke up to the sound of chewing right next
to my ear. It was very close and obviously caused by a large animal.
I admit I was scared and lay very still for a long time.
No one else woke up.
Cautiously, still lying down, I opened the tent flap and peeked outside.
There, 50 cm in front of my nose was a huge hippo-mouth ripping the grass
and chewing. I watched and listened for ten minutes, hardly daring
to breathe, until it moved away and I fell asleep again.
One of our guests was a boy of twelve. He was South African and, feeling
completely at home in the bush, he often wandered away a bit.
We were wading through a sea of grass when I disturbed a family
of warthogs. They ran away from me and, not being able to
see over the grass, directly towards him. He froze, standing wide-eyed,
watching this line of tails running towards him. At the last minute
the tails stopped and, changing direction abruptly,
disappeared in the grass.
Warthogs run with tails up, so they can keep in touch in situations such
as these. The tails are like flags waving to each other!
(See last weeks story and others here.)
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