The pups are growing fast and becoming more and more mobile and beginning to move with purpose. Not just floundering around.
And Puzzles has now almost totally relaxed her ‘hold’ on the pups. She’s now quite happy for the other pack members to be with them while she’s out the den getting some fresh air and no doubt a break from all those little ones.
I’m still battling to count how many pups, but it still seems like 12. They’re just all over the place like ants.
Today for the first time some of the pups were able to suckle standing while Puzzles was standing up. They’ll do this more and more as they get older.
But already since the beginning of the week the pups have started eating meat. True little carnivores.
The sub-adults bored with hanging around the den, went exploring and found this porcupine holed up in a cave close by. With each approach the dogs made, the porcupine would rattle it’s quills sending the dogs scattering.
A typical day at the den:
Dawn – the pack awake and run around frantically greeting each other, followed by some time to hassle the pups. Puzzles is usually still in the den with the pups.
The pack then go hunting. Puzzles stays behind in the den, but later comes out to rest on the rocks. And when she’s really hungry, she paces around looking into the distance and listening.
Several hours later the pack arrive back having hunted successfully. Puzzles runs around frantically begging from all pack members for food, which they regurgitate for her.
Having fed Puzzles, the sub-adults will go into the den to play with the pups and sometimes regurgitate food for them. They continue to hassle the pups until about 10 or 11am. In this time Puzzles would have suckled the pups once or twice.
Then it’s chill out time for all. The whole place is quiet for the next few hours.
About 4pm the dogs wake and greet. Wake the pups and then settle down to rest for another hour before going hunting at dusk.
Back from the hunt after dark, they feed Puzzles, play with the pups briefly and then it’s rest time for the rest of the night.
Although yesterday afternoon they never came back, only returning a few hours after sunrise today. Someone reported seeing them having killed 3 impala against the fence. So when they returned they were all well rounded with lots of food for Puzzles.