CCF’s field team in Eastern Namibia were alerted about an incident where two African wild dog puppies had been bumped by a car. I took our Natural Resource Management Intern, Petoorua Mberirua, to respond. Sadly, by the time we arrived, one pup had succumbed to his injuries. However, after a health check, treatment for shock and consultations with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism’s Wildlife Veterinarian, Dr. Janine Sharpe, we determined the second pup had come out unscathed.
Acting quickly, that night, the team located the wild dog pack, approximately 15km from the site and the pup was successfully reunited with his pack. This pack consists of 5 adults and sub adults and 4 pups about 5 months old. After this most recent incident, the pack has lost two pups on the road.
With no standing water available, the wild dogs seek water along the roads at the piped in water points. CCF will continue monitoring the pack, raising awareness and working with farmers on the ground on Human Wildlife Conflict mitigation and Natural Resource Management.
Intense monitoring of the pack allows for early warning systems on the whereabouts of the dogs through our communication network and farmers can put in measures to keep vulnerable calves at the homesteads at night.
Our intervention in helping to reunite this individual animal with his family is probably one of the most surreal events I’ve ever experienced. We got the pack to come in, as soon as the pup heard the pack calling, he started getting fidgety, we waited for another call to make sure he’d heard them and then took him out the box.
He ran into some bushes and hid. We stood by to see what would happen next. The pack called and then the pup called. They kept this up until we heard the pup moving off. It was dark in the bush and Petoorua and I just sat holding our breaths until shortly we heard the dogs “twitter calling” in excitement. As more and more adults arrived, we could hear them all greeting the pup.
Petoorua and I sat for a good 20 mins of high fives, hugs and tears before we left. It was the best drive home knowing that after his ordeal this little pup was surrounded by his siblings and family again. I spent the drive imagining his evening sleeping next to fellow warm furry bodies, with lots of licks and comfort.
July 2, 2021Chewbaaka’s Wild Cheetah Challenge – 2021