A founding group of six African wild dogs was introduced to the Madikwe Game Reserve in 1994. Despite lion attacks and rabies outbreaks, the pack slowly grew in number and established a resident clan. Today, there are three wild dog hunting packs in Madikwe.
The dogs are extremely active. A first impression and first sighting is often a blur of white and brown markings and the flash of a tail as members of a pack jump, twist, turn and run in a flurry of movement. Wild dogs are full of energy and constantly play and chase one another as they move through the bush.
An endangered species
There are a number of reasons for the drastic decline in numbers of the African wild dog, most associated with humans.
Land clearance has destroyed habitat; urbanisation has reduced their hunting grounds; exposure to infectious diseases carried by domestic dogs has resulted in many deaths and they’ve been shot and poisoned.
Wild dog populations in central and north-east Africa have been wiped out, and across Africa their numbers continue to decline, earning these canids an endangered status.