Wild Dog In Selous

27 January 2011 | Jo Jenkins | Safari and Beach News

As we were expecting at the beginning of the season, this really has been a very interesting one. The wildlife in Selous has been very busy in the last months, offering amazing sightings, events and also surprises. Nature always make changes, that’s the beauty of it!

A pack of 10 Wild Dogs couldn’t successfully raise the puppies, unexpectedly they have split up, forming two different packs of 5 members each.  The alpha male and female are still together with three of the young ones; while the subordinate female, who was also pregnant at the beginning of the season, decided to leave with the subordinate male and the other three young ones.

As often happens with Wild Dogs, it is the females who leave the pack, while the males remain in their natal pack to become helpers, while they wait for the loss of the alpha male to give them a chance to breed.  What pushed the subordinate female to leave the pack is not known, but we can assume that the reasons could be connected to the loss of the puppies. Maybe because she has been pushed by the alpha to abandon them and also by her instinctive wish to have chances also to conceive? Hopefully, this may be clearer in the future.

These days we often get the chance to see one pack or the other, resting or hunting here in the surroundings. Some of the guests out on a walking safari recently, spent more then 40 minutes a few meters from them sited on the ground, observing these very interesting creatures socialising and feeding each other, totally ignoring the presence of humans.

There have been no more sightings of the pack of four that was regularly in the area around Impala camp last season. Since the original pack of ten took over this part of the reserve, they have disappeared. By the way, this could be normal if you consider the fact that dogs occupy enormous home ranges that could also overlap with other packs and be in competition for food.

We hope one day to come back to you with the news that the pack has been spotted again here, maybe in an increased number.

Written by Jo Jenkins

Jo’s enthusiasm for safari as a child when her parents worked in Zambia, then Kenya. Jo quickly fancied herself as a safari expert and has been a keen game tracker ever since. Although, more recently, she is very keen to trial many of the (more luxurious) beach lodges we now offer.

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