I was fortunate enough to have a visit to South Africa this summer and see for myself the Wild animals of Africa. The variety was mind blowing, and actually getting close to the animals pure magic. One of the highlights of wild Africa was getting to see a pack of African Wild dogs. There were 12 wild dogs in the pack with a definite hierarchy, but as they all knew exactly where they stood in the pack they had no problems working together to find their prey. We had been stalking the dogs for about 2 hours before our first sighting of the day. By the time we saw them light was beginning to fade fast but I was fortunate to be at a lower level as they passed by with the sun setting behind them. That was the last we saw of them that day.
The next day we tried again to pick up their trail and was fortunate to find them early on. Following a pack of dogs through the bush at speeds of 40 kilometres per hour for about 1 – 1.5 hrs was quite a feat of endurance, not for the dogs who can keep the pace up for hours but for us as we bounced in the vehicle! There are now only about 5000 African wild Dogs left, but to see these animals work together and hunt to bring down their prey was amazing. I will save some of my other photographs for a future post. Extract from Wickepedia The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as African hunting dog, African painted dog, painted hunting dog or painted wolf, is a canid native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest of its family in Africa, and the only extant member of the genus Lycaon, which is distinguished from Canis by its fewer toes and its dentition, which is highly specialised for a hypercarnivorous diet. It is classified as endangered by the IUCN, as it has disappeared from much of its original range. The current population has been estimated at roughly 39 subpopulations containing 6,600 adults, only 1,400 of which are fully grown.The decline of these populations is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks. The African wild dog is a highly social animal, living in packs with separate dominance hierarchies for males and females. Uniquely among social carnivores, it is the females rather than the males that scatter from the natal pack once sexually mature, and the young are allowed to feed first on carcasses. The species is a specialised diurnal hunter of antelopes, which it catches by chasing them to exhaustion. Like other canids, it regurgitates food for its young, but this action is also extended to adults, to the point of being the bedrock of African wild dog social life. It has few natural predators, though lions are a major source of mortality, and spotted hyenas are frequent kleptoparasites.
For anyone interested we have started a new Facebook Group, Norfolk Photography Group this will be open to anyone who has an interest in photography. There is no limitation of region, type of photography, ability of make of camera. The group will be open to comments , suggestions and constructive critique of images posted. We hope that this will be somewhere that members can post without feeling intimidated and provide a comfortable environment for all.
You can find this image and all previous images at our Photo Gallery. I would like you all to look through your images and send them to me for inclusion in this regular post. If you can add a short description with the image all the better. Regards, Nick