Definitely a face only a mother could love….well and oxpeckers too!! The contrast between the daintily prancing oxpeckers and the…well ghastly comes to mind…features of this grizzled old warthog couldn’t have been more at odds. Poor guy…shouldn’t laugh, but he’s definitely got a pigs face! The Oxpeckers couldn’t be happier than, well a pig in….uhmm…mud, with their most agreeable and congenial host. So many nifty nooks and crannys to explore…a veritable rolling smorgesborg of ticks, flies and heavens knows what other delectable goodies to choose from.
Male warthog are easily identified by the extra set of facial warts they so grandly sport, providing added protection to the face against nastily sharp and dangerous tusks when combating other males for the amourous attentions of a contested female.
This old guy was definitely in seventh heaven. You could almost hear him grunting and moaning his delight as the oxpeckers did double duty on his face. After a while the pleasure became just too much for the old guy, and he plunked down, closed his eyes and simply luxurated in the delirious delights of oxpeckerdom.
Imfolozi reserve, South Africa