Wild dogs still on the move

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Or­rin Singh

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.

Pub­lic as­sis­tance

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

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