Over the past year we have loved reading and hearing about all your encounters and stories! So we thought we would share a few with you after we have written about them on Safaritalk!
We especially love the ones that happen you least expect them!!
Twice now I have come across fantastic wild dog sights as we were making our way home!
The first was in Botswana on a private game drive. As is the norm we had asked the clients what they would like to see on the drive and we had requests for elephant, lion and a honey badger! We did indeed manage 2 out of the 3, but alas no honey badger! For a number of years all I had personally wanted to see were wild dog! We had been close on so many occasions missing them by seconds and I was indeed starting to give up! And these are the times when they happen! So we were about to come to the end of our drive in Botswana and we were making our way home when we spotted another car had stopped just up ahead. As the sun was going down I prayed for something excellent, maybe the honey badger we had been hoping for, but no, instead we came across a pack of wild dog just waking from the daylight snooze. We witnessed the social rituals and bonding as they rose. The seemed to spend a great deal of time licking and chattering to each other. It was so heart warming to see these guys, not to mention that I don’t think I took a breath for a few minutes as I had forgotten too!!! I also was so excited that I dropped my camera!!! We got a spend around half an hour with them before the sun was very low in the sky and visibility was getting too difficult! But still my first wild dog sighting in 7 years of waiting I could not shut up telling the guests how amazingly lucky we had been!!!
|Blue Lizard Adventures’ first wild dog encounter.|
The second amazing encounter was after a long day changing camera trap batteries all over the Timbavati for my research degree. It had been a particularly long day with little findings and little to report. We had decided to take the long way round back to base and I am so glad we did. As we were just chatting and complaining about what a terrible day it had been when we had to stop the car suddenly as a head popped up at the side of the road! Then another, then another and another! Astonishingly we had stumbled upon a large pack of wild dog taking a snooze under a clump of sickle bush, no more than 3 feet from the road. The car had indeed startled them, but once we had cut off the engine they all settled back down. We got to spend nearly 2 hours with them watching them sleep and move around each other, it was just incredible! I loved to sitting and spending time with them watching their natural behaviours.
After a while the pack began to stir and looked like they were ready to move off. As they began trotting off down the road a huge bull elephant came out of the bush and headed straight for the pack. The dogs showed no real interest, however the elephant started to flap his ears, trumpet and mock charge the pack! They were entirely unmoving, still going about their business! They finally turned off the road and into thick bush.
|Sleepy little dog!|
|When wild dog and elephant collide!|
Wild dog are declining in numbers and are listed as endangered. There are numerous trusts and projects set up to try and help the conservation effort to save these amazing creatures. They can also been seen on occasion on some of our tours: www.bluelizardadventures.com
We at Blue Lizard Adventures would love to hear your stories so please feel free to email them to us, post them to our Facebook page and send us a message to our Twitter acount. We will post and publish them over the coming weeks.