Sunday, February 17, 2013

Madikwe large Wild Dog pack.


This is the iconic Wild Dog image...


I find that the dogs are very photogenic and
with digital equipment it is easy to get carried away
 and end up with hundreds of images from a single encounter. 

We found this pack(22 individuals) relaxing in the late afternoon sun.
Out on the road without a care in the world...
except what the next meal might be.

Ever watchful... 

Some rough house play to toughen the youngsters...
The 12 pups in this pack are about 9 months old.
and,as we found out the next day, ready to hunt for themselves!

Just another day in Africa?
Certainly not as I was about to find out... 

This is Africa at its most basic...
A Buffalo cow stands by helplessly as her calf is dragged away. 

Only the youngsters took part in this kill...
even the Alpha male stood on the sidelines before,during and afterwards. 

The cow is kept at bay by some of the dogs while the rest of the pack continues the gruesome task.
To see my posting on the kill in its entirety, visit:
http://www.davidbatzofin.com/2013/02/dogs-1.html

A sign of a well fought battle? 

Buffalo is not the usual Wild Dog fare, as they prefer easier prey.
It took twenty minutes for the pack to finally subdue the calf,
and this effort tired the dogs. 

A quick respite and time to catch a breath of air. 

The handy puddle close by was a great source of both water to drink
and mud to cool down in 

Time for some more? 

War paint... 

a full belly needs some water to help the digestion 

Three of the youngsters enjoy cooling their tummies in the mud. 

Finally the bellowing stopped and the dogs continued to devour a most expensive meal.
Give the fact that this Buffalo is BTB ( bovine tuberculosis) free, had it lived it might have been worth around $125000.00.
More expensive than a quarter-pounder (with or without cheese)! 

The following afternoon I returned to the kill site and all that was left was the skin and the head.
And interestingly, the skin was turned inside out and covered the head.
All I was able to see were these teeth...and the maggots. 

This is the reason that Wild Dogs are seen as Africa's most successful hunters.
 They have more teeth than most of the predator species.
The top skull is that of a Wild Dog, while the one below is from a Leopard.



All the images were taken during game drives from the recently refurbished Lodge.
For more information on what they offer, visit their website:
www.madikwesafarilodge.co.za

 
www.sablogawards.com

All images are the copyright property of  and may not be used without permission
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