Jump to content

Kwando Trip


madaboutcheetah

Recommended Posts

madaboutcheetah

Hello all,

 

Many of you on this forum requested for current updates on the dynamics of the wild dog packs in the Kwando and as promised here is the current scenario.

 

Lagoon Pack - Currently as on date. There are 8 adults and 6 puppies. There were originally 12 pups. Unfortunately, a Lion attack on the den in August killed one pup. The dogs then vacated the den site and took off to a temporary den about 3 kms away (approx). Here is the story as told to me by Charles at dinner the other night. Apparently, he was at Lagoon and he followed up on the pack only to see that they had left with only about 6 or 7 pups and abandoned the others at the old den. Then he noted that the remaining pups some how followed the scent onto the new location. He apparently saw this - after which, they were still traumatized by the Lion attack and then took off from the new den and weren't located for about 3 weeks or so. Nobody knows what happened, but, at the moment there are 6 pups.

 

The remaining members of the Selinda pack are denning north of John's pan (20 mins) and also technically in the Lagoon area. There were 7 adults before denning - but one of the males and the second female left the pack. Now the pack is 5 adults i.e., 4 males and the alpha female. 4 pups - spent a couple of evenings at the densite. They just started coming out of the den during the course of the last week.

 

The two packs had a fight last Monday. I didn't see it as I was far away - but, followed up the next morning. One of the dogs from the Lagoon pack was injured. They looked traumatized and moved off to last year's denning area (near the airstrip/BDF camp etc etc.,)

 

One day when we were tracking the cheetah as usual like we did every drive - we heard Wild dog contact calls ..... we followed up and found a pack of 5 running wild and continuing to call. They did this all day including that evening. They ran off into the mopane. Spencer identified the female as the one that split off from the denning pack. Some of the dogs he had never seen before. This pack was not seen again.

 

They have another pack of 5 - we didn't see this pack. Probably running wild

 

Two females on their own and they have been in the Selinda more often than not.

 

 

Cheetahs:

 

The star of the concession was a female cheetah (many of us know her very well) and her now approx 7-9 month old cub. They have been spending a hell of a lot of time in the concession and love the area between Baobob tree, Nari pan, Kubu pan etc etc., all the way to the camp area itself. Having spent a hell of a lot of time with them saw a lot of amazing sightings - Hunting strategy, mother/cub bonding, High speed chases in front of camp two evenings in a row, Kills, feeding. She is hunting every third day or so - as the cub can eat only small meals right now and She doesn't over feed so that she can hunt on a continuous basis.

 

Also shared a sighting with ST member Hebog - where, the cub was trying to play kill a baby steinbok. He didnt have enough power or strength to kill the animal and would not let it go - stomping on it, playing with it etc etc., eventually I think the animal may have died from exhaustion. We stayed at the sighting until after dark and left as we don't use spot lights on the cheetah. No remains were seen next day - who knows what happened? The mother didn't kill it. But the noises from the Steinbok kept her alert for both other predators and to see if the mother of the fawn would return .........

 

One other day - while tracking her, also tracked the three cheetah coalition. The tracks led to a strange scene - 5 cheetahs in one location. The boys were trying to see if she was interested and gave up after a half hour and left to move on. They spend a lot of time traversing the area.

 

Was able to keep up with the cheetah and her cub only due to tracking her first thing every morning. Hence we were able to hold onto her sightings without missing her. Once you don't follow up on two or more drives and if they are days when she is on the move - may be more difficult to locate her, especially since she is seeing safety in some of the mixed woodland areas too besides the open flood plains. This is probably the reason why she and the cub were only seen when the cub was 4 months of age in June or so. Hence no idea of how many cubs in this litter. Some of you will remember that she had raised two cubs in 2005.

 

The two brother coalition are real beasts. Big boys and a bit shy.

 

There is also a new female and 4 sub-adults along the spillway. Avid tracking and trying to calm them down at sightings will help, but, may take many months to accomplish.

 

The mixed woodland areas really seem to be very productive.

 

Regards,

Hari

 

PS: My first Pangolin sighting!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hunting Dog

Thanks for the update, sounds like you had a good time, especially with the cheetah cub - any pics?

 

Seems like relatively good news for the dog packs considering their vulnerable position, with various groups and the non denning pups wandering about the concession.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John Milbank

Thanks Hari. You certainly do seem to have had a good time. The dog activity is very interesting and I'm pleased to hear that female cheetah is still doing a good job raising young. She's been around quite a few years now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Thanks. Will put up some pics later in the week.

 

Yes, John - She's doing very well for herself. Still a great hunter and not just that - I haven't seen any other cat posing for the cameras. She looks directly into the camera more often than not .......

Link to post
Share on other sites
Predator Biologist

Thanks for those details Hari. So did you get to see the newly emerged pups, mostly black and small? Fantastic if you saw the litters of the two packs at such different stages. Very bizarre male and female dogs leaving the pack at the same time, doesn't usually happen that way.

 

Seeing the cheetah training with the steenbok must have been unbelievable, lots of unusual sightings for you on this trip.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Hi Bill,

 

3 pups are all black and tiny as you say. One of them has a lot of white - especially in the front. Have pics of them will put them up later this week - hopefully. The Lagoon pack has a bit older pups and they have been mobile since maybe August or so.

 

There was a thought that the second female was also pregnant at some stage - so no idea if she lost the pups or was kicked out by the alpha female. But, we saw her with another pack and showed no signs of being a mother. The other male - no idea if he took off at some stage or something else happened to him.

 

Cheers

Hari

Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

Thanks for all the dog and cat details and you haven't even gotten to the pangolin.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Hi Lynn,

 

Ok, the pangolin .......... after the cheetah hunt and watching the feeding we were returning back to camp slowly. I had invited a guest to join that evening drive in the vehicle. We were chatting about the elusive pangolin the entire time. Suddenly Spencer brakes! Fresh pangolin tracks. He says "quiet" ..... we hear a rustle inside the blue bush. Next thing our tracker rushes with the lights and then Voila!!!!! He comes out of the blue bush with the Pangolin.

 

After 10 minutes - we called all Lebala vehicles and they came racing quick to get photos. It really was a bizarre moment!!!

 

Cheers

Hari

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Hari,

Pangolin, what a treat!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Thank You!!! Still swamped with work and replying emails .......... I promise to start working on pics in a couple of days.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Man its tough being a wild animal!!!! Those poor dogs have one of the toughest lives. And the poor little steenbuck.

 

I had 14 Ostrich chicks the other day by the next day there were 6 then 5 then 4 and now I dont know what is left.

 

Where the photos now?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

Sorry about your ostrich chicks Dik dik.

 

I think your pangolin talk conjured up the creature. How thrilling of a sighting for both of you!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hari,

 

Pangolin! If only I'd stayed for longer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Atravelynn

No hurry on pics. My Aug trip has not been posted here with pics yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John Milbank

Nice stuff, Hari! Jade certainly does seem aware of the camera, but we know she's just perfectly comfortable in the presence of vehicles.

 

Geoff, PL, Yvonne and I once spent most of a morning just watching her and her then two adolescent cubs lounging around a termite mound, and on another morning we followed her and the cubs on a hunt for some distance. We had to get out of the vehicle to change a flat tyre, and they saw us on foot but weren't overly concerned and didn't hurry off, just continued their leisurely pace through the bush. They were still in sight when we were ready to move again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Thanks, John. You are correct - She is one of the most photogenic cats ever!!! Several times, she really didn't seem to care when we had to track on foot as the visibility of the spoor this time of the year is challenging. Many times, she didn't move from her spot. The youngster is getting to be that way also........

 

I have some more photos of her actually posing for the camera - looking straight at me. Will post them this weekend.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you have been duped. Thats not a pangolin, its an artichoke!!!! :D

 

Great pictures thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Sorry for the delay - have updated some pictures onto the pbase gallery. Same link as above

 

Regards

Hari

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Sorry, for being too one dimensional. Will load up some elephant pics shortly ...... also have to do the same with Roan and the other cheetah (the coalition of 2). i.e.,the ones who killed one of our beloved blood brothers .......

 

I might have some good ones of another Leopard as well .....

 

Hari

 

PS: Ken - I also have some pictures of the singing and dancing from Botswana Day - not sure you are too keen on those? B)

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Yes, Ken - Just the Elephant Bums ......... Will add some real Elephant photos later.

 

Cheers

Hari

Link to post
Share on other sites
madaboutcheetah

Thanks a lot, John. Appreciate it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

very nice Hari. Some excellent sightings & cheetah interaction. Your photography improves with each trip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy