Already well fed from yesterday, I suspected the dogs would be off to a late start. But not so, although it was a rather slow start with them milling around and hassling each other.
Puzzles then suddenly changed direction and with purpose the pack trotted north in single-file.
This is good impala country in the Acacia tortilis woodland. Great hunting grounds too. Well for me anyway as the country is open with the closed canopy of Acacias.
A large herd of impala stopped in their tracks staring in my direction. I don’t think they could see the dogs because of the grass being too long, but they had spotted me. The dogs had heard them and were moving in. Ears flattened the pack spread out all the time advancing with real purpose. Then the impala saw them and bombshelled out of there. That was the trigger for the dogs to launch their attack. Like missiles gliding over the top of the grass the dogs disappeared chasing impala in all directions.
I lost them all but eventually picked up Jiggy. He had killed a young impala and was feeding on his own. Well fed he moved off and called. The pack didn’t respond. Eventually he found them on another kill. They’d already finished and realising Jiggy had also killed they were quickly on his scent tracking down his kill.
That was 2 quick kills for the dogs feeding on already well swollen tummies, which of course meant the end of any activity from them for the rest of the day.
At sunset they slowly roused themselves but were in no mood for hunting just ambling along. Having drunk at Matsanga pan, again Puzzles took the initiative leading them into impala country.
When I managed to negotiate the thickets and come out in the Acacia woodlands there were dogs and impala running everywhere.
This young impala came tearing towards my vehicle with a wild dog pup hot on it’s heals. For the second time I saw the fear and determination in the poor little ones eyes. Just that split second of seeing it told its story instantly. Full blooded fear!
And amazingly it seemed to get away. But another youngster didn’t make it and was caught by the pups.
The dogs are on a high hunting in prime impala country. This is the area they do most of their hunting when they’re denning, so hopefully they don’t deplete stocks too much before they den. Or maybe they’re planning on denning elsewhere this year?