Pre-hunt Ceremony

When a pack of twenty two African Wild dogs get ready for their evening hunt, they greet each other as if it’s the first time they have ever done so!  This enthusiasm and genuine interest in each other is another very endearing quality that these endangered predators possess.

It is almost like an unseen switch is flipped as one of the dogs suddenly decides ‘it’s time,’ and they spring up into action with their high pitched calls, licking of faces and wagging of tales. Frantically rushing around, it is as if they are all checking that pack members are well and ready for what always promises to be a high speed, high action evening hunt.

Typically they hunt early in the morning at first light and then again at dusk.  At times when the moon is full enough, they will continue to hunt into the night.  The risk of running into lions, their biggest threat, is larger once it is dark, so they need to be even more careful then normal.  When there are so many mouths to feed, there is little time for rest.  This, combined with their natural high energy levels and high metabolism, means that if you spend enough time with a pack and are able to keep up with them once they decide to move, you’ll be treated to some good action.

This particular packs alpha female was pregnant.  We followed them as they investigated a previously used den site.  Exciting prospects loomed, because it would only be another couple of weeks before she would drop anything up to 15 pups.  The pack would then be resident for about a three-month period.  This will make for some incredible sightings in the near future.

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