Wildlife: The ever-challenging dogs

22nd February 2016
The South Luangwa is one of the best wildlife destinations, in part because of the diversity of species that it offers. Wild Dogs are just one of our 'specials' and particularly since they can be found at almost any time of the year.

I took my first trip into the park since returning from the UK and followed up on some Wild Dogs who had denned just south of one of my favourite camps last year. The pack of four had reared 2 pups and it was great to see the two of them looking fit and strong. In fact, when I found them, they had just caught and eaten an impala, so they were slightly bloody and carrying rounded bellies!



It was getting close to sunset, and they were running steadily along the road, seeking hunting opportunities but not trying too hard. If a chance came along, they would surely go for it, but they had just eaten and would be fine to rest up until morning.



However, even for cunning and fit Wild Dogs, I think this giraffe is off the menu!



As they moved along the road and the youngsters played, I thought about how fantastic they are to watch. And equally how hard they are to photograph. They move incredibly fast, meaning you have to get way ahead of them to take shots of them approaching, and they rarely 'align' themselves in a photographically pleasing way! I tried several composures as they weaved in and out of the grass, but eventually settled on nice portraits of the dogs as they approached me.







The presence of dogs in this area (there is also a pack of 18 that we are seeing quite regularly) bodes really well for sightings in this year's safari season - the more familiar they are with this area as a hunting zone, the more likely they are to den nearby in April and May which will guarantee us sightings throughout the period when they have pups. Fingers crossed!

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