What a treat we have for you today! Ranger Pieter van Wyk captured the most beautiful clip of the adult Cape Hunting dogs returning to their den site. And those of you reading our Cyberdiary will know what lies in wait for them. BABIES! This week’s Cyberdiary described the wild dog den very succinctly, but for those of you who have not read it, here is an excerpt that will give context to the video clip.
Visits to the den will almost always guarantee a view of the dogs. The best sightings are undoubtedly when the cubs venture out from their burrow (which will only occur when they are summoned by one of the adults). These predators will hunt twice daily; in the morning and late afternoon. After the hunt (their success rate is about 80%), the adults rush back to the den to regurgitate food for the youngsters and the one hungry adult left behind to guard the den. The dogs can venture in any direction when they decide to hunt. We have seen them some impressive distances away from the den as they search for prey. We have established that there are seven adults and six puppies. After the tragic death of one of the pups last week (whipped off this world by a Tawny eagle), let’s hope that that their run of bad luck is over and that all young dogs make it to adulthood. This is, however, unlikely as they are so very vulnerable at this age, and are bound to run into trouble.
Aren’t the little critters too cute for words? We so enjoyed this one, and hope you will too.
Happy almost-weekend folks!
The MalaMala Ranger Team