Painted Wolf, Wild Dog, Cape Hunting Dog are all words describing one of the most successful predators you’ll get to witness on  a safari anywhere in Africa. We at Kapama were lucky enough to view a pack of these incredible animals for the last week now, probably ( hopefully ) seeking new  hunting grounds to include in their massive home ranges.

Unfortunately Wild dog numbers are on the decline and very few wildlife areas still exist where these animals can be seen in a natural environment doing what they are supposed to do. This mostly because they were  invading cattle farms, and being as successful at hunting as they are, thousands of them got shot because of the threats they posed to livestock.

Rather than using stealth, cunning or brute power to bring down prey they hunt in packs and it takes a considerable amount of team effort for them to be successful  With a 90% success rate this tactic obviously serves them very well as they employ cooperation and a good dose of stamina to run down prey and tire it out until such basically collapse out of pure exhaustion.

The pack we see at Kapama probably came through from the conservancy next door to our west, but in all indication it seems like this family is quite happy to be spending some time with us.  Hopefully they will have a couple of successful hunts on the reserve and decide to include Kapama Game Reserve as a part of their home range, which would mean that we get to see them a whole lot more often than we used to.

It is truly a big privilege to have them here as their dwelling numbers everywhere throughout sub- Saharan Africa is a cause of great concern. For now we will just enjoy every single sighting of these amazing predators and hope they will decide to make this a part of their permanent home…

 

Johan Esterhuizen

 

 

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