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Pack of six African wild dogs released and under surveillance in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

The pack is composed of four males - originally brought into Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) from Tswalu Kalahari Reserve at the end of 2020 - and two females originally from HiP. Picture: Tegan Goldschmidt

The pack is composed of four males - originally brought into Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) from Tswalu Kalahari Reserve at the end of 2020 - and two females originally from HiP. Picture: Tegan Goldschmidt

Published Apr 11, 2022

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Durban - A pack of African wild dogs has been released in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (HiP) in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The Wild Life Act and the Endangered Wildlife Trust assisted Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife by facilitating the release of HiP’s newest pack of African wild dogs two weekends ago.

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“The pack is composed of four males - originally brought into HiP from the Tswalu Kalahari Reserve at the end of 2020 - and two females originally from HiP. The males and females originate from opposite ends of the vast park and may never have come into contact. The capture and bonding of the dogs were crucial for the formation of this new pack,” Wildlife Act said.

“Initially, the males and females lived in two adjacent compartments of a predator holding facility, commonly referred to as a boma, in the Hluhluwe section of the park. This passive bonding method allowed the dogs to get to know each other through the separating fence.”

The African wild dogs were fitted with tracking collars. Picture: Facebook

The Wildlife Act said once the monitoring team were comfortable with the interactions, a decision was made to dart all the individuals and use the Steve Dell method of rubbing the individuals on one another. The introduction proved successful and formed a cohesive and tightly bonded pack prior to release.

“All six-pack members of the pack are fitted with tracking collars to enable daily monitoring of their movements, behavioural dynamics, ecological influences, disease, snaring incidents and any other human-wildlife conflict issues,” Wildlife Act said.

Recently the Wildlife ACT team together with the Endangered Wildlife Trust, assisted Ezemvelo and the Hot Dog Research team to fit tracking collars on African Wild Dogs in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

That included the fitting of specialised collars supplied by the researchers who assess the activity of the dogs in relation to temperature, as well as assist their monitors in the tracking of this priority species on a daily basis.

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The operation ran smoothly and Wildlife ACT will continue to monitor the dogs closely, Wildlife Act said.

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