Warthogs were shown in a different light in the 1994 Disney Animated classic The Lion King with Pumba, the second half of the internationally popular Timon and Pumba duo.
Bonded together under the pretext of being banded as outcasts of their own kind, Timon and Pumba’s funny antics gave significant focus on the meerkat (Timon) and the warthog, one which audiences of all ages and from different parts of the world were quick to follow up on.
With Pumba’s rise to fame, the warthog’s popularity as one of Africa’s savanna creatures also rose, no longer pegging them as deadly wild pigs that are wired to only kill what comes their way or eat whatever they find.
Taking their name from the protrusions found on their heads, the “wart” like bumps of the warthog are actually body fat reserves which are often used as a defense mechanism of the species. Male warthogs are known to make frequent use of their “warts” benefits, particularly when two males are engaged in a fight.
Africans, at one point in time, called warthogs as vlakvark, which translates to “pig of the plains”, with their warthog name being one that only recently came up after the first new age naturalists found their way to Africa’s shores.
Being “wild pigs”, the warthog is not often known for their pet friendly attribute, that plus the fact that they are not exactly territorial animals, but are rather described as “home range” animals.
Though Pumba from the Lion King is depicted as a laid back, cool, calm and reserved character, real warthogs are not known for being calm when they feel stressed or threatened. In fact, the warthog is considered as one of the more dangerous animals one could get to encounter in Africa, with a number of poachers still considering them to be prized trophy catches, dead or alive.
Simply put, Pumba’s character is quite the opposite from real warthogs, though this fact hasn’t really made a dent in their popularity as a species.