Welcome to Wilma the Warthog!
April 2008

Roger Parry, was called to the Kingdom Hotel (Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe) to dart a snared, suffering little warthog - an hour later we had a 3 legged pig on our hands.  As the poor creature was darted the snared leg actually broke off. The wound was cleaned and the little warthog named. The name Wilma was given, unbeknown to our new "capture unit" that a Wilma already existed in the Sales and Marketing department of VFWT's sponsor Wild Horizons.

After getting permission from the National Parks and Wildlife Authority of Zimbabwe, it was agreed that Wilma would be moved to Wild Horizons Ele Camp for monitoring and rehabilitation. Wilma was loaded into the back of the vehicle and driven out to the Camp where Gavin and Shay best had arranged lovely accommodation in the workshop where the hay bales were stored.  Wilma had an abode made of hay barrels with a little covered hidey hole for her to retreat into. Gavin arranged for cubes and water inside the little enclosure and Wilma spent the next few hours resting and letting the sedative wear off.

Roger and the support crew

The following day when we went to check on Wilma, we were all shocked to find the enclosure empty.  Wilma was outside happily grazing on the grass nearby.  We figured out that apparently even three legged warthogs can climb out of an enclosure with walls of four hay barrels high.  In the evening, Wilma returned to her house with no assistance.  Wilma is now in a healthy routine whereby we open up her hay barrels early in the morning.  She spends the day grazing on the grass around Ele Camp, and wandering in the bush, having a good wallow in the mud or laying up nearby.  She occasionally tries to join other families of warthogs, usually only to be chased by momma warthog herself.  Every evening Wilma happily returns home to her hay abode and munches down some cubes before going to bed and being closed in for the night. 

Wilma the Warthog

Wilma's case is a bright light for us here at the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.  In April alone VFAPU, in conjunction with Wild Horizons has sponsored Roger twice to dart another two warthogs in Victoria Falls town.  One warthog was located near the river at the old polo cross grounds and had a wire snare wrapped around its muzzle so it couldn't open its mouth.  The other darting was on Sunday at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, another sub-adult, female warthog had a plastic top from a bottle such as dishwash, cooking oil, etc wedged between its hoof, which in turn had restricted blood flow and thus infected the entire hoof.  In both cases the darting was successful and snares or plastic tops were removed, and the warthogs immediately rejoined their family groups. 

Please see our News page for regular updates on Wilma