When guests ask if we have wild dogs on safari game drive’s at South Africa’s Kapama Reserve, we always explain that although we may spot them now and again, they are not resident on the Reserve. Wild dogs are roamers and move across large areas sometimes travelling over 50km in a single day looking for food.
Over the past few months, Kapama has had the privilege of seeing several African wild dogs moving through the Reserve. As they move across such large distances, it is difficult to pinpoint from which other neighboring reserves they have come. However, as a highly endangered species, whenever we see wild dogs on Kapama, it always creates a lot of excitement.
Towards the middle of September, a pack of around six wild dogs made their way onto Kapama. On one particular day, our Rangers, while out with guests came across them and noticed that one of the wild dogs had a snare around its neck with a very prominent open wound. Our Head Ranger Liezl Holmes reached out to wildlife Vet – Dr Rogers from Pro-Vet. Together with Dr Rogers, a team mobilized to track the pack of dogs. The process would include finding the pack of wild dogs and the respective wild dog, darting it and removing the snare as well as administering any other medical attention that might be necessary.
Buffalo Camp Head Ranger Rassie was the last to spot them and radioed it in. Liezel, River Lodge Head Ranger Stefan, together with Dr Rogers set out in the direction of the pack. After about 2 hours of tracking them on Kapama, they came across the pack and more specifically the wild dog with the snare around its neck.
After they managed to get it darted, Dr Rogers set to work to remove the snare and stitch up the wound. They released him shortly after.
Later that afternoon while out with guests, Rangers came across the pack of wild dogs once again. They noticed he had joined up with his pack and was doing rather well. The following morning the pack was seen once again. He was keeping up nicely with the rest of the dogs and they even managed to kill an impala.
What a wonderful ending to the story! Our team felt privileged to have been apart of such a memorable endeavor.