Giant Forest Hog
Giant Forest Hog

Average Mass:
102 kg (225 lb)

Average Shoulder Height:
90 cm (35")

Rowland Ward:
20.01 cm (7 7/8")


Giant Forest Hog Spoor

Track: 76mm (3") x 67mm (2 5/8")

Giant Forest Hog Distribution

This species occurs discontinuously in west-central Africa , from Guinea to Ghana , and from east Nigeria to south-west Ethiopia , Kenya and north Tanzania (Wilson & Reeder, 1993; Oliver, 1993). Its distribution map was obtained from Oliver (1993) and then revised by Dr. J. P. D’Huart ( 28 April ‘97 ). Its occurrence in Ethiopia was updated on the basis of information found in D'Huart & Yohannes (1995).

Activity is highest in the early morning and again in the late afternoon, with some uncertainty as to whether nocturnal activity is present.  Groups generally set out from their night resting spot at sunrise, travelling to the open savanna using well worn trails.  As the noon hour approaches, the giant forest hog again retreats to the forest, where they remain for about 2 hours before repeating the cycle again.  Wallowing is a favourite activity, taking up about 1 hour each day in certain areas.  Around 5:00 in the evening, groups retire to their elaborate sleeping nests.  Reached through passageways through the vegetation, these nests are 2-60 square meters / 18-540 square feet in area and may be used for a long period of time.  Surrounding this nest are well-used dung heaps, which may be 1.1 meters / 3.5 feet high.  Daily movements average 8-12 kilometers / 5-7 miles, most of which takes place on well-defined trails.  Each group, or "sounder", occupies a home range of about 10 square kilometers, which may overlap extensively with the ranges of other groups..  

Males are responsible for the defense of the group, and will attack objects which threaten the safety.  Extremely fierce when excited, giant forest hogs have been seen driving solitary spotted hyenas off of buffalo kills, and will attack humans if they are shot at.  Competitions among males are violent and may extend for half and hour.  During these contests, males rush directly at each other from 20-30 meters / 64-96 feet apart, crashing their foreheads together with a loud smack in a manner reminiscent of wild sheep.  The victor urinates, grinds his teeth, and bites at the looser, who in turn flees the area with his tail raised.  Despite their reinforced skulls, deaths among males due to fractures and breaks are not uncommon.  The forest hog is quite vocal, producing grunts and barks to communicate over both short and long distances.  In good habitat, population densities may exceed 7-30 animals per square kilometer.

Categorical-discrete (CD) distribution model

The species lives in a wide variety of closed habitat types: from forests and gallery forests to woodlands and thickets (Oliver, 1993; Kingdon, 1997; D'Huart & Yohannes, 1995).