@Chrisf Yes, it's amazing to see just how they work together in pack. They all have a role, even those that have suffered an injury are left to guard the puppies.
Let's see your wild dogs... (pics and video)
Posted 05 March 2017 - 04:18 PM
VISIT TO AFRICAN PAINTED DOG DEN SITE 2 - PART 1. July 2014.
(see 19th Dec 2016 Den Site 1).
On leaving Little Kwara Camp, we re-located to Lebala Camp, Linyanti, northern Botswana. This excellent camp is well known for providing it's clients with outstanding and reliable Painted Dog sightings. The den site is relatively close to the camp and has been used by the pack (in various configurations) for several years.
We drove to the den site late one afternoon and on arrival it was more than apparent that the pack was about to go out on a hunt. We were given the opportunity to either stay at the den and see the pups or follow the hunting party, everyone in our group wanted to go hunting, we would return the following day to see the pups. (see Part 2, to be posted soon).
The hunting party consisted of 6 adult dogs, one remained at the den. We followed the group for over an hour initially at a leisuely pace before driving at speed as they became more focussed on the possibility of a kill. Not entirely sure thrashing through pristine habitat is the most eco-friendly approach to observing wildlife. During the hunt a solitary hyena was chased away by the pack and an African Wildcat had a lucky escape. Eventually as it started to get dark we lost the pack so a kill was not witnessed, they were however successful as we made contact with them later in the evening as they returned to the den and they were covered in blood.
The following images were taken whilst 'Running with the pack', an experience I will never forget.
Image 1: The hunting party assembles.
Image 2: Thirsty work this hunting.
Image 3 & 4: Individual pack members.
Image 5: Whole pack, only just.
Image 6: Individual pack member.
Image 7: Unwanted help.
Image 8: Worst Painted Dog image ever taken, cannot press the delete button for some reason.
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Posted 05 March 2017 - 06:14 PM
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Tell me what you can hear and then tell me what you see; everybody has a different way to view the world.
Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:24 PM
VISIT TO AFRICAN PAINTED DOG DEN SITE 2 - PART 2. July 2014.
(see 5 March 2016, Part 1).
The day after following the pack on a hunting trip we returned to the den site around 11.00, several of the pack members were asleep in the long grass adjacent to the den entrance. We parked up about 25 yards form the entrance and after a short wait the alpha female emerged along with her pups. We counted 8 adults and 18 pups. Several of them looked very frail indeed to the point that we were not very optimistic about their future, unlike those we had seen at den site 1 earlier in our trip. Our guide was of the opinion that they were around 4 weeks old. He told us that very unusually 3 females had given birth to pups in and around the main den and that at the time there didn't appear to be an established alpha female. However shortly after giving birth 2 females had fought and one had been severely injured. The victorious female, presumably now assuming the alpha female role took several pups from the wounded female to add to her own making 18 pups in the main den, she also killed a number. (Not sure about the accuracy of this information or what happened to the 3rd litter). Just before we left the den a female dog approached the alpha female and the pups and was attacked by the alpha female. We left the site after about 30 minutes having watched some of the pups feed and stumble about, to say the least very concerned.
We were absolutely amazed to learn that by the end of February 2015 the pack was still in good shape, consisting of the original 8 adults and 11 now sub-adults. They had relocated to the Lagoon Camp area and are possibly known as the Kwando Pack. They denned again in June 2015 and produced a further 8 pups. (Data: Kwando Sightings Reports).
Photography not too good , shooting into strong, direct sunlight.
Image 1: 3 Pack members, previously seen in Part 1.
Image 2: Alpha female centre with pups, plus male. Den entrance to left.
Image 3: Individual pack member.
Image 4: 3 Pups.
Image 5: Individual pup.
Image 6: Adult with pups.
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