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ShowMe™ and Africa Geographic bring you some of this magazine’s top notch content right here on our site. The survival of the African wild dog, whose numbers have been calculated at between 3 000 and 5000, has long been under threat. When Roger and Pat de la Harpe began to research their book In Search of the African Wild Dog, they found what they thought was a healthy population in Kruger National Park, a smaller but potentially vibrant one in KwaZulu-Natal’s Hluhluwe-lmfolozi Park, and an even smaller but none thel ess encouraging one in Madikwe Private Game Reserve in North West Province.
A kind of seed bank for populations such as these is De Wildt in the Magaliesberg, where endangered species such as cheetah and wild dog are bred in captivity and, if it is feasible, re-established in the wild. With a wild dog population that field biologists estimated at 400 or so, the Kruger National Park was regarded as a suitable gene pool for the local meta-population. Pioneered by wild dog researcher Tico McNutt in Botswana, a bio-boundary is created by placing dog scat collected from elsewhere around the perimeter of the area where a pack is to be confined, thus forming an artificial territory. Read about Roger and Pat de la Harpe’s quest to find populations of wild dogs in South Africa in In Search of the African Wild Dog. This superbly illustrated book, sponsored by Sasol, a major contributor to funding for wild dog conservation in South Africa, is also available in a half-leatherbound Collector’s Edition with slipcase.
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Wild dogs are social and gather in packs of around ten individuals, but some packs number more than 40. Major threats to the survival of wild dogs include accidental and targeted killings by humans, viral diseases like rabies and distemper, habitat loss and competition with larger predators like lions. Creation of protected areas and protection of major wildlife corridors benefit species such as the African wild dog. Make a symbolic African wild dog adoption to help save some of the world's most endangered animals from extinction and support WWF's conservation efforts.
When checked, Shutterstock's safe search screens restricted content and excludes it from your search results. Cheetah cubs learn survival skills, Masai Mara, KenyaCheetah cubs chase a gazelle fawn that was given to them by their mother in order to help them hone their hunting skills.



Professional photographer and guide for Exodus Travels has witnessed stunning sights in his adventures in far-flung locations from the Arctic to the plains of the Maasai Mara. The species has been the subject of intensive research and in recent years great progress has been made in attempts to secure a meta-population of wild dogs in South African reserves by managing individual widely dispersed packs as one artificially interacting group.
Another population has been introduced into the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in eastern Botswana and has the potential to spread into the emerging Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. Much has been learned since dogs bred at the centre were introduced into Madikwe in the 1990s, not least that packs with the best chance of survival comprise both wild and captive-bred dogs that have been given time to form a cohesive social system prior to release.
One is that neighbouring domestic dog populations may infect them with rabies and canine distemper.
But then things took an unfortunate turn: veterinarians working in Kruger revised the population count to no more than 150, a number that represents precariously low odds for their survival.
In 1979, when the entire population comprised no more than four birds, including only one female, it was decided that the species was a goner and research funding was stopped. It has been found that a staggered border is more effective than a single straight line – and that means that a lot of foreign dog scat has to be brought in.
The largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa (especially Tanzania and northern Mozambique).
Conflicts occur when wild dogs come in contact with people whose livelihoods rest largely on livestock and agriculture.
In southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique, WWF works to protect important wildlife corridors between major game reserves. As our caretakers interact with these fascinating animals, youa€™ll see them simply having fun. There are also a few more marginal packs in areas like the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in Limpopo Province. But no one took into account the tenacity of Welsh ornithologist Carl Jones, who managed to find two fertile eggs and captive-reared the progeny.
This has proved to be one of the most successful initiatives in the management of wild dog populations in restricted areas.


Problems arise when expanding human activities decrease the habitat for available prey for wild dogs. No coaxing or prodding necessary, just animals content in their element, being themselves.We often think of animals in basic survival terms, but here youa€™llA  see that play is as much a part of the animal experience as self preservation.
Had the park’s once-healthy wild dog population been cut down by other predators, or were the dogs being persecuted outside the greater Kruger area?
Today there are an estimated 800 of the endemic kestrels on Mauritius – and Jones proved without a shadow of doubt that, until the last breath has been exhaled, there is still hope for every species on earth. For months, the De la Harpes seemed to be following a trail of tragedy from one reserve to another: wild dog packs were being decimated by lions. Ita€™s contagious!Youa€™ll be fascinated by the antics of our residents, whether ita€™s a grizzly bear flopping in the pool while playing a game of cat and mouse with caretakers, or spotted hyenas playing tug-of-war.
Perhaps ita€™s a walk-about where youa€™ll visit and experience a deeper connection with some of our charming animal ambassadors. There is a glimmer of hope, though: in Hluhluwe-lmfolozi the wild dogs seem to be faring much better than elsewhere. Youa€™ll quickly discover that along with their playful side comes intelligence and cunning skill.This is no circus act but an exciting and educational way to learn and discover the wonders of our animal friends as they interact in a variety of playful and entertaining ways.
Not only is this show intimate, informative, and packed full of fun; ita€™s the perfect environment for building lifelong memories with friends and family.
However, the show will sometimes be an engaging walkabout, featuring predator animals and more.



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