It’s been an interesting week for the dogs and thankfully they’re all still going strong.
Zip and Kodak both have foot injuries but both recovering just fine.
The day after the lions killed the dogs, the rest of the pack were too nervous to go to the den. So for over 24hrs they didn’t feed the pups. It was only the next morning after a successful hunt that they slowly approached the den and called the pups out.
As was to be expected Puzzles wanted to move the pups to a new den. They often do this when hassled by lions. Several times she called the pups and they would follow her until the yearlings stepped in to feed them. They stopped the whole move. Eventually Puzzles gave up.
The next day Puzzles was on her own at the den and had already moved some of the pups to a new den close by when I got there at dawn. She then tried to move the rest but they wouldn’t jump down a ledge. She picked up the one and carried it off leaving the others milling around me. Eventually they moved back to the den. Puzzles then gave up calling them and carried them one at a time to the den. Now back at the 2nd den.
Puzzles is now out hunting with her yearlings, and nobody is left behind to look after the pups. But the den they’re in is really secure from lions and other predators, so long as the pups don’t go a wandering.
Lions were again at the den the one night and again the pack were nervous all day only getting to feed the pups late in the evening.
Puzzles now seems to have resigned herself to the fact that the pups are in a safe den, so why move them?
Hyaenas also came to within about 50m of the den. The dogs watched, ready to send them packing, but no need. They hyaenas seemed to know they better move off. They had come to check out the dead dogs of which there was hardly anything remaining.
We were also successful in implanting Chevvy with a transmitter. This goes in the stomach cavity and the animal doesn’t even know it’s there. So at least now I can again keep track of the dogs movements.
The dogs are all doing well and the yearlings hunting very successfully. There’s been no change in the status of the pack without Jiggy being there, but no doubt things will change when Puzzles comes into oestrus next year.