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 Post subject: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:49 pm 
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In the park last week we came across a rather disturbing sight on the Mahonie Loop out of Punda Maria.
1700 Sunday 26FEB12, proceeding anti-clockwise around the loop at approximately 10 kms from Punda camp we came across a large pack of feral dogs chasing one or more baboons. We stopped to observe and at one point saw nine dogs in the road with more thought to be unseen in the bush.
The dogs varied in colour but looked similar in size and shape, they looked fit and hunted as a pack, suggesting that they have been living wild for some time.
We reported the sighting at the Punda reception that night but believe the report needs a greater audience. Has anyone else seen these (or other) feral dogs?
And, just to pre-empt the inevitable question "No, they were not wild dogs"

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:36 pm 
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Very disturbing, but reading other reports of Peeps inside Kruger, the Dogs were probably with an owner that is hunting in Kruger. :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:40 pm 
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We drove the Mahonie loop on last Wednesday afternoon and saw men dressed in blue and red with dogs who were chasing some antelope.
We stopped and shortly thereafter the Sanparks sunset drive vehicle came along and the guide saw them as well.
He got out the truck and prepared to shoot the dogs but they quickly pulled the dogs down out of sight.
A short distance later we saw another person dressed in white walking through the thick bush but also ducked out of sight when he realised he had been seen.
The guide told us poaching is a big problem in that area as it is very close to the border fence.
We did see a helicopter in the area on the Friday morning, not sure if it was connected to the incident.
Worrying for sure especially if there are feral or domestic dogs involved.

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:46 pm 
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Good heavens, what a strange sighting ? "Feral" meaning non-domesticated ? (Can't find the word in my Oxford dictionary !)

Do you have photographs of this sighting ?

I will be there in June and will surely be on the look out, however, there have been recent (real) wild dog sightings in the Punda area.

Len


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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:50 pm 
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Len these are trained hunting dogs used to illegally hunt in the park :thumbs_up:
Very frustrating news loony and elsa :wall:

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:54 pm 
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And in the process of hunting in Kruger, they carry desease to the Wild Dog population, in such a way that the Wild Dog population might be non existent in a few days. :evil: Time is short SANParks, get rid of this scourge. :evil:


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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:52 pm 
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My use of the term feral is to describe previously domesticated animals that have turned to living in the wild.
However, it could well be that these dogs are being used by poachers as hunting dogs, I never saw any humans and so dd not consider the possibility at the time. But if true how could they get away with it so close to a restcamp?
I will check for a reasonable photo...

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:03 pm 
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loonytoone wrote:
But if true how could they get away with it so close to a restcamp?

A lot of poaching activities and Park transgression happen very close to the Punda Maria restcamp unfortunately :( The Power Lines are the 'highway' so people do not get lost from Mozambeque. And they lead to Punda camp. Various Mites have spotted people near the camp who flee when they see a car.

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:28 pm 
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The thought of organised poaching gangs with dogs is worse than my first thoughts of feral dogs.
Maybe we need an electrified fence along the border...
Here is one of the dogs:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:44 pm 
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All of the dogs looked in similar condition and of similar breeding but colours varied, brown and white, black and brown and tan.
Stangely, although totally unrelated except for the canine connection:
The following day en-route to Shingwedzi on the main road, we saw a Labrador (or similar) riding in a car driven by a woman (at around 50kph) who did not appear to be game viewing but just travelling from A to B.
Are any domestic dogs allowed in the park? Ranger's dogs possibly?

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Some rangers were allowed to have dogs as pets, I've read it in the memoirs of Bruce Brydon. Don't know if it is still so... :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:32 am 
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:( Not good in many ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:41 am 
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As far as I know, rangers can have dogs under strict conditions. I remember when the rangers were looking for Duke's tusks they were accompanied by a little Jack Russel.

A stray and lost dog wandered into Croc Bridge camp on my last visit. The staff immediately commented that this was not the ranger's dog. Sometimes you can hear them bark. Kobie Kruger also talks with affection of their dogs in Kruger. In Wolhuter's time there were often packs of close to 30 dogs. He would confiscate dogs from poachers and keep the best for his own purposes.

Dogs can be very effective in many instances. Harry Wolhuter's life was saved by the efforts of his plucky little dog while he was bleeding up a tree.

What saddens me here is the brazeness of the poachers. It does seem from Elsa's post that there is little fear of getting caught.

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:19 am 
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Stray dogs could carry distemper and rabies which would be a disaster for any member of the canine family as well as many other species, and should be destroyed on sight. The brain of such an animal was in the past sent to the Veterinary Dept for analysis.

This appears to be another poaching incident!

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 Post subject: Re: Feral dogs sighted on the Mahonie Loop
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:41 am 
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Very worrying indeed. In other parks (not necessarily SANParks) whole packs of wild dog have been wiped out by distemper/rabies, presumably brought in by "feral" dogs. The rules banning visitors' pets are there for a very good reason. Any "feral" dogs (or cats) seen in the Park should be destroyed on sight (sad as it might be).

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