Wild dogs spring another surprise!
The Mupanigawa pack were in the Chiredzi river at dusk chilling out next to the water but daren’t cross. They’re really nervous of that flowing water and what lurks beneath.
As it got dark they ambled away from the river and up to the Binya road where they spent the rest of the night sleeping.
Early in the evening the clouds rolled in fast and furious and brought with them a little rain, then a cloud burst and then it cleared.
But at dawn the temperatures plummeted as a low cloud swept in with the wind. Really chilly.
This was just when the dogs got on the move again heading south-west. The Alpha female led the way with her very pregnant tummy.
The dogs were hunting and made several chases after impala but not with much enthusiasm. The Alpha female hanging back as she just can’t keep up with the fore runners with her big tummy.
But the dogs just didn’t have it in them this morning and kept moving towards the Chiredzi river.
They moved on into the river and following after them, I wasn’t very confident that I would get up the steep banks again and might find myself stuck in the river. I kept Barend on standby at the top of the bank.
The dogs got to the flowing water and seemed stumped yet again. They were scared of the water, and this time is was the adults standing back and the more naïve pups staring threateningly at the water.
They would stare at one spot for some time and then move on downstream. Stare again and then move on. This went on for about half a kilometre.
Then Split made her move. As casually as ever she walked into the river, only about a foot deep, as if she was about to lie down it. The rest of the pack followed and in a sudden rush of panic all crossed the river into unknown territory.
This is not a part of Malilangwe but is a protected area although it’s not that safe from people. So I worry now about the dogs.
With the Alpha female so near to pupping I hope they’ll soon be back as they often den in the same places as they’ve done before.
After much to-ing and fro-ing I eventually managed to climb out the river bank. Good old Toyota! (Hey Toyota it’s time you guys came on board)
Not being able to follow any further I headed back to Banyini to see if the lions were still in the area. There was no sign of them luckily for a lone buffalo cow. She’s in great condition and looks heavily pregnant but there’s something wrong with her back leg. Dislocated? I couldn’t make out what the problem was but she’s basically immobile. She eventually hobbled into the pan and lay down clumsily.
I doubt she’ll be able to get up again. But will be following up on her this afternoon.