February 2024

Nothing to see here!

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Nothing to see here!

It’s so interesting to observe wild dogs setting out on a hunt. This pack had finished their afternoon ritual of waking up, playing with each other, having a drink and rallying a hunting party. There were some giraffe on the other side of the pan, but they only got a cursory look. The marabou stork and the critically endangered hooded vulture were of no interest to the endangered wild dogs.

The pack assessed a herd of zebras but with no injured foals they too were of no interest and the pack actually lay down in

the path in front of the unsettled zebras.

Then they revved a small herd of wildebeest, but the wildebeest were having none of their nonsense and grouped together charging at them, bucking and tossing their deadly horns about, and the dogs thought better of it. What they really wanted was to discover a newborn or injured calf and then they would have pursued it.

What I like most is the way they go about this initial assessment phase – they walk off in a single-file line, in a very casual, disinterested, low-slung, devil-may-care way – but don’t be fooled for one millisecond because if a potential prey animal reveals itself its life will be over in seconds.

Jenny Hishin
By Jenny Hishin
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