Wild dogs still on the move
EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) has confirmed that the African wild dogs seen roaming in Empangeni and surrounds are in fact, a pack of dispersed females.
EKZNW spokesperson Musa Mntambo issued a statement to the ZO following the latest sighting of the pack in Thula Thula Private Game Reserve yesterday (Wednesday) morning.
According to Thula Thula tour guide Andrew Murgatroyd, three dogs were seen in the reserve at about 7:30am when rangers took a tourist group out on a game drive.
Murgatroyd said they had seen five dogs in the reserve last Wednesday, a day before the ZO and EKZNW spotted three dogs in Empangeni.
While information on the number of dogs has varied between three and seven, Mntambo said indications are that there are only three dogs.
‘They are a group of females which have dispersed from a pack in the iMfolozi section of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP).
‘We have confirmed this through photographs sent to us by various people who saw the dogs, including EKZNW staff,’
While the exact population of African wild dogs in HiP is not known at the moment, as some of the wild dog packs that have denned in the wilderness area have not been seen for some time, Mntambo said they estimate the figure to be between 60 and 70.
Mntambo said they are currently on a mission to recapture the dogs, but need the help of the public to do so.
‘It is possible to catch the dogs even without them having collars, but we rely on people who see the wild dogs to report any sightings immediately to us so that we can mobilise a capture team.
Mntambo appealed to people not to disturb the dogs when encountering them.
‘Wild dogs are generally not dangerous to humans and they do not attack people.’
He said the dogs are expected to keep moving.
‘As dispersing females they would be looking for males with which to form a new pack.
‘Only once they have done this can we expect them to settle down in an area.’
The public can contact EKZNW District Conservation Officer Phumla Zulu on 078 7457305 or 031 001 3642 if they spot the animals.
Two of the three dispersed female African wild dogs were photographed at Thula Thula Private Game Reserve yesterday (Wednesday) morning during a game drive