The wild dogs haven’t had a good run of meals lately and the little guys are all looking rather lean.
Hunting at dawn and again in the evening, although they were successful, only a few adults got to feed each time. Both kills must have been small as the adults returning from them didn’t take the others back to the kill and neither did the others follow up.
And so their lean times continue, each only getting a snack a day.
The adult with the injury to her front right foot, still manages to stay with the pack and is feeding but she is looking really lean and unfortunately looking like she might go the same way as 2 other adults we have already lost in the pack in the last 4 months. Her injury, whatever it is, doesn’t look severe except she just isn’t using that leg at all. I sure hope it heels soon, although in the last 5 days it hasn’t shown any signs of getting better.
2 Wild dogs killed at dawn, fed and went off to call the rest of the pack. The adults settled in for a long wait while the pups chewed away relentlessly on the carcass. Eventually they headed back to Sosigi hill for the day.
At Banyini there were swarms of Red-billed Quelea coming in to drink. They were there in their thousands. Sometimes they nest here on Malilangwe and can number in the millions. Actually they’re the worlds most numerous bird.
There were some elephant bulls at Chekwa pan again chilling off with a mud bath in the heat of the day.
I was surprised to find the pack nearly in the same place this morning. They were on the move already but only the adults and BB’s pups. I was sure the alpha pups were close by in the thicker bush, but no joy.
The adults hunted down near the Chiredzi river in the Acacia woodlands where I’ve always wanted to film them chasing after impala. But alas they reached there just at first light which is still to dark for filming.
Hunting as they do they often get split up in this thick bush and one adult killed an impala on its own, later having to call the rest of the pack back to the feast. And eventually only when a second reconnaissance party went out did they find the alpha pups. What had those naughtly little teenagers been up to?
The wild dogs headed a long way south with the pups and then all the way back up north to Sosigi again. This was quite a trek for the little pups. They got half lucky when the adults caught a Grysbok but this antelope is so small it doesn’t feed many mouths.
With them up the mountain I was left stranded at Sosigi dam where these Yellow-billed Storks and Spoonbills were hunting in the shallows. They occassionally got lucky pegging an unsuspecting Platana lying in the muddy bottoms of the dam.
A huge buffalo herd were down on the Chiredzi river again kicking up dust, just not wanting to be around with me. But I must say once they realise I’m not going to do them any harm, they do settle down somewhat. And I’m sure if I had to spend a few days with them they’d actually start missing me when I left. Well, I can only hope so.
The dogs were off the mountain again at dusk and out of the blue flushed this warthog which really didn’t have a chance with 9 wild dogs on it. Wild dogs would find it really hard to bring down an adult warthog and even usually youngsters like this ‘cos their parents are aggressive defenders. But they weren’t around this evening to help this little fellow.
Hunting this morning I think they were successful, but with the bush being so dense there was just no way of me getting in there. And then their signal headed up into Sosigi hill. This rocky hill is scattered in Baobabs and in the past the dogs have denned here.
Having spent the day on Sosigi they moved west at sunset. Luckily most of this was following them along one of our tracks. By night fall, hot and exhausted the dogs rested up in the mopanie.
Any idea what this is? Marshmallows?
It’s hyaena dung made up of almost solid calcium from all the bones they crunch. Only sometimes will you see lion dung white like this but not often. The only other animal that has exrement similar to this is the crocodile. But it’s a different shape and very hard.
By the way hyaena dung makes great chalk when you want to write on dad’s car.
It was an early morning hunt again for the dogs, heading out before dawn. But only around sunrise did the Alpha male and female kill an impala which was almost immediately taken from them by one hyaena. Even when reinforcements arrived the dogs couldn’t get their kill back. This wise hyaena backed into a bush and was then totally in control of the situation. (Some of the other pack members must have killed elsewhere as they arrived at the den covered in blood)
I came around the corner, well after sunrise, and this bushpig was standing in the road almost wanting to take me on. He stood there a while and then sauntered off. Very strange for one of these beasts as they’re nocturnal and usually very skittish.
I saw rhinos today! Yes black AND white. The black dude didn’t hang around long enough for his photo session but did initially stare me down before taking off.
There were 4 white rhino resting up in the shade and I unfortunately disturbed their peace. When I switched the car off they seemed to have lost contact with where or what I actually was. So I thought I could sneak closer on foot for a few pics. But I hadn’t even both feet on the ground when the oxpeckers alarm called sending all that tonnage disappearing into the mopanie.
The dogs have got into a routine now of hunting in the early morning and spending the rest of the day lying around. Well not for the pups. They can’t leave each other alone and especially the alpha pups just have to continously torment BB’s pups, as they have done since they were 2 days old.
I’m sure this routine will be broken soon as the moon is waxing and they’ll go hunting in the middle of the night when its cooler too.