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Wild Dog!!!!

October 14, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

  While I enjoy any trip to the bush, I have been hoping to see wild dogs (aka African Painted Dog) for quite some time.  They are endangered and cover large territories so it is very hard to find them.  My trip earlier this year to Botswana was my best chance yet but… no dogs.  Next week our family is going to South Luangwa National Park, which is said to be one the best but, even there, wild dogs are elusive.

  We have only about two months left in Zambia and the rains will soon be upon us, so I decided on a quick trip to Kafue National Park this past weekend.  Nigil (a SALTer with our organization), Justin and Thomas (our bosses son) woke up at 3:30 Saturday morning, jumped in the truck and drove to the park for just one night of camping.  We arrived in 3 hours since there was no one on the roads.  We immediately went for a drive in the park while the animals were still active.  At one point, Nigil asked if I would back up as he thought he saw jackals or hyena or something.  I gladly put the truck in reverse as it never hurts to check but it often turns out to be a stump or some other trick of the eye.  Nigil pointed to what he had seen… and I could tell by the distinctive large round ears, they were wild dogs!!

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   We counted about 15 in all but there may have been a few we missed.  They had killed an impala.  The adults had eaten and the younger dogs were gnawing away at the little there was left.  We were able to get quite close and enjoyed watching them.  Wild dogs are rather small and hunt in a pack.  They are very efficient runners and basically chase the prey until they are weak and then the pack tears them apart. 

  Needless to say, I was happy.  Not only did I get to see wild dogs but also was able to capture some pretty good photos. 


As you can see, their ears and coloring are very distinctive.


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