Wild dogs, Cape Hunting Dogs or ‘Painted Wolves’…one of the most endangered predators in Africa and generally quite a difficult animal to find and follow.  They need huge home ranges and have endless energy, so sightings are often fleeting at best!  These factors made our time with this pack that much more rewarding.

Knowing there was a pack denning in the area, we headed up one morning to spend time at the den site with them and couldn’t have timed it better.  Approaching the den, we spotted a female, the alpha female, lying on the top of the termite mound they had chosen as their den site.

Within minutes she lifted her head, very focused, she darted off through the dense brush and down the side of the mound, as the rest of her pack returned from a successful morning hunt.  Typical of these dogs, there was a huge greeting session involving tail wagging and high pitched yelping.

Ultimately, the dogs that hunted regurgitated and fed the four week old pups and the alpha female, right in front of us.  Once the chaos of the greeting and feeding had settled down, the pups started playing all around us, while the adults drifted off, positioning themselves around the den site and relaxing into the late morning  ‘lazy phase’ of their day…let’s hope the pups make it to adulthood!