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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby lion queen » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:19 pm

Hiehiehie........I was such a sweet well behaved little girl......... :tongue: :tongue:

Now I know where all the doggies came from on my birthday slides of that year!!! :big_eyes: :lol:
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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby picnic » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:20 pm

Image LQ :clap:

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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby Kgalagadi Guru » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:22 pm

Herewith an answer from the expert.
Below is an excerpt from our soon to be released new guide book.

Marginal wild dogs
WILD dogs are the rarest large carnivore in the Kalahari. Because of their high metabolic rate, they need a constant food supply and are the first of the large carnivores to disappear in areas of low rainfall, where the average annual rainfall dips below 350 mm. They are, therefore, at best a marginal species in the KTP. No resident packs in the southern KTP have been recorded since 1974, when eight dogs settled near Twee Rivieren in the Auob riverbed. Then one fateful day in February 1975, they left the park and entered farming areas to the south. Within 24 hours, two had been shot, after which the remaining six returned to the park.

Fearing that they might again leave the park with similar disastrous consequences, we decided to try and catch them so that they could be released near Nossob camp, in the centre of the park. This operation, however, was not very successful: we lost one wild dog during the capture operation, and when we released the remaining five, the pack split up. Three were not seen again, and two males remained in the area only a few months before they too disappeared.

During the next few years, there were a handful of sightings of wild dogs in the northern Nossob reaches of the KTP. Our next encounter with wild dogs was with a single female at Nossob camp in December 1978. After that we had to wait another two years before experiencing perhaps the most spectacular wild dog sighting in the KTP.

We were following two spotted hyaenas along the Nossob riverbed above Leijersdraai. Conditions were very dry, and there was no game in sight. It was four o'clock in the morning and we were seriously considering packing in and not punishing ourselves any longer. Suddenly, the hyaenas veered to one side. In the moonlight we saw eight wild dogs running towards them. The dogs did not pursue the hyaenas, however, and the hyaenas stopped about 50 metres away and stood looking back at the wild dogs.

The dogs quickly lost interest in the hyaenas, but were extremely interested in our vehicle. They came right up to it and, even when we shone a spotlight on them, they showed no concern. This was probably the first time they had ever seen a vehicle. We decided to remain with the dogs, and when the hyaenas moved on we stayed behind. A few minutes later we noticed more movement in the direction from which the dogs had come. On switching on the spotlight there, moving slowly towards us, were another 15 wild dogs: four adults accompanied by eleven pups, each about one third the size of an adult dog.

After the pups and the rest of the adult dogs had gotten used to the truck, the pack laid down and went to sleep around the vehicle. At daybreak, they began to stir. At first one or two got up, stretched, and started to groom themselves. Gradually, the entire pack followed their example, and soon all 23 were gambolling around the vehicle, chasing one another back and forth, the white tips of their tails striking in the early light.

A few of the adults started ranging out independently in different directions, stopping to survey the surroundings. At this stage, a brown hyaena was seen making its way along the road some 200 metres away. The hyaena did not appear to notice the dogs, and the dogs showed only mild interest in the hyaena. This contrasted their reaction earlier, when they had seen the spotted hyaenas. Spotted hyaenas compete with wild dogs and often steal their food, whereas brown hyaenas pose no threat to wild dogs.

A lone gemsbok approached, took one look at the dogs, and quickly departed in the opposite direction. Eventually the dogs started moving off, closing ranks as they did so. The direction they took was back into the dunes in the Botswana section of the park. After they had been travelling for half an hour, one flushed a steenbok, which was immediately pursued by six of the adults. Within a kilometre they had caught it. The steenbok doubled back as the leading dog lunged at it, only to be caught by those coming up behind. Within a few seconds the bleating stopped as the dogs tore the steenbok apart.

We then witnessed one of the most remarkable traits in the behaviour of these fascinating creatures: The pups came running up to the six feeding adults, which immediately left the food for the little ones. Wild dogs are the only carnivores that allow their young to eat before the adults. One steenbok does not go far among so many ravenous mouths, and within five minutes of it being killed, all that was left were legs, the skull, and some skin.

Soon after this incident, a small pack of wild dogs settled around Nossob camp and were seen intermittently in the area, even managing to raise pups. They also caught the one and only impala which had lived in the park for five years. They have not been seen since February 1984. Since then, only a very few sporadic sightings of wild dogs have been reported in the KTP.

Gus Mills
The Lewis Foundation South Africa
Head: Field Guiding
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park


Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby picnic » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:33 pm

Thank you KG that was a good insight,also very interesting is the fact that the elderly let the young eat first. :D

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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby p@m » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:37 pm

Thank you KG -- very interesting :thumbs_up:

And please convey our thanks to Gus Mills as well :thumbs_up:

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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:45 pm

Great stories :thumbs_up:

Pity they are not seen even occasionally.

Does this mean one might see them on the way to Kaa or Mabue KG?
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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby picnic » Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:58 pm

BB it would be nice to see them back in KTP. :thumbs_up:

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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby Scouter » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:00 pm

p@m :thumbs_up: You read " Hyena Nights and Kalahari Days" too ... :lol: :lol:
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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby john222333 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:20 pm

We saw 2 wild dogs in Chobe, just after the gates had opened at 6am. They were chasing an impala. It was incredibly exciting. Another vehicle passed us laden with people. "dogs !! " we said .They werent interested in one of the rarest sights in Africa, Off to find more lions ....
Ah well be with you in 6 days. Looks like rain . is it muddy?

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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby JABES » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:28 pm

We camped at Mabua last year and had a very interresting discussion with one of the Botswana Rangers.
They get word of wild dogs from time to time and the last reported sighting was 2010, I think around April.
Two dogs were seen crossing one of the pans and diappeared on the other side.
Another interresting thing they told us about is the large migrasion of wild. Apparently thousands of animals (gemsbuck and eland especially) migrate north out of the park, passing just north of Hukuntsi on their way in the general direction of the Central Kalahari game reserve. Sometimes massing in the aea between Kaa and Hukuntsi. He told us about instances where the spoor crossing the Mabua - Kaa road was so numerous that it was not possible to see the road itself. I would love to know more about the migration of the wild. When i retire some day, i will come monitor this as a project.
I also read the 1970 book about Joep Le Rich, where there were claims about Zebra and Buffalo being in the area long ago.

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Re: What happened to the wild dogs in KTP?

Unread postby yvo » Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:00 pm

Good evening,
Thanks so much Kgalagadi Guru for these very interesting informations.
Hope they can been seen again one day in the KTP.

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Visit to the Kgalagadi

Unread postby propolis » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:08 pm


I am in a position to plan a trip to the Kgalagadi - but only around August to mid Oct 2012

Is this a very dry period and is this a period where animals are not in good shape (My other half loves wild animals, but gets very emotional when animals stuggle for food)

Most other info I have so far found in the forum


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Re: Visit to the Kgalagadi

Unread postby picnic » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:50 pm

Hi propolis, I don't think that would be the case. We visited KTP at different times of year and never saw any starving animal.
Here are a picture to show you how dry the KTP can get. But the animals look fine.This photo was taken in December. Also the KTP has had good rains this year. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Visit to the Kgalagadi

Unread postby p@m » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:16 pm

Hello propolis -- bear in mind that all the animals in KTP are specially adapted to survive in an arid area.

So even though it looks (to us) as though there is no food, they still do well.

Enjoy the planning :thumbs_up:

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Re: Visit to the Kgalagadi

Unread postby Rookie » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Hi Propolis

There are waterholes every 5 - 8 km along the riverbeds so the animals have access to water and the flora is varied and they eat the bushes and grass shoots at the bottom of apparently very dry grass.

We were there last Dec and are going again this Dec and while the cheetah always look skinny, we saw a number of kills, so they are definitely able to catch their food.
I see that you are going to Kruger as well and you are more likely to see animals in worse shape there as their incidence of disease appears to be much greater than Kgalagadi.

Either way, good luck with your booking and hope you enjoy it.
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