By Graham Simmonds, Mombo Camp Manager.
A pack of 5 male Wild Dogs has been spotted in the Mombo area for the past few days. It is believed that they have come from the South of Chiefs Island. The Dogs are estimated to be around 2 ½ years old judging by their playful antics, un-sureness and excitement at seeing prey that rivals a kid in the candy shop. It is common for Dogs of this age to break away from their packs to try form a new pack of their own and these energetic males are causing havoc with the lechwe and impala herds near Mombo Camp. They even decided to stir with a large female elephant who was until then, peacefully feeding with her herd.
The question being asked is what would happen if they met up with Solo, the lone female Wild Dog/ Jackal pup sitter who has been marking her territory in this very area alone for the past 4 years. There have been times when other packs would come into the area and she would ‘go to ground’, keeping a safe distance between her and her fellow species. Whilst most romantics struggle to see why, it is in fact very wise, as if the pack were to encounter her it is most likely the Alpha female would not take kindly to the presence of another dominant female Wild Dog and would surely have the backing of her pack. However, with the new pack on the scene comprising only males, it is difficult to speculate what the relationship could be if they were to meet each other. Would the youngsters exuberance be over bearing for the much older Solo?, would her tendency to protect her Jackal packs be too much for the males to understand or would her pack instinct kick in and the chance to breed be the deciding factor resulting in her joining the males. This in itself then opens up a new can of works as would they stay in the area or move further afield.
Something we should all be asking is, what would the Jackal think of all of this and would they then think they had 5 more parental figures and more meals on the way?
Of course, safe bet is that the males will keep on running as they love to do and move back South again, leaving Solo to her happy existence with her Jackals and the truly amazing story would continue in the same manner for a bit longer.
(GW's note: You can read more about the amazing story of Solo, the lone wild dog mum who adopts Jackal pups each year here and keep up to date with where is hot for wild dog action right now here.)