Hluhluwe Wild Dog update: Crossroad pack
It has been a busy month and a half for Hluhluwe’s Crossroads pack in South Africa! This pack includes wild dogs Fossey, Bala, Ian, Solo, Ncane and six puppies.
It all started off with the collaring of the beta male, Ian on the 14th of August 2013. Ian’s satellite collar was very kindly sponsored by Sure Travel. This collar has already been a tremendous help and we have managed to collect valuable data because we are able to track Ian by VHF as well as GPS co-ordinates that are downloaded from the satellite collar.
A few weeks later Ian and Bala, the alpha male, got into a fight – Ian was fighting Bala for the role of alpha male. Ian clearly won the fight and has now taken over the role as alpha male. He did however get injured in the fight and we have been watching his condition and wounds closely reporting to KZN Wildlife vet Birgit Eggers for advice. Ian is on the mend and doing a superb job as alpha male with Fossey at his side as the alpha female.
Wildlife ACT’s conservation volunteers and Meg Lategan spent many hours with the Crossroads pack over the last few weeks and had absolutely incredible sightings of the puppies. We are in the process of putting ID kits together for these little guys.
After so many days of beautiful sightings we found that they had moved into a very hilly area with no roads. We waited patiently and followed their signal but did not have a visual for about five days. When the pack eventually moved south out of the tricky area we saw them out hunting but to our dismay, Solo, the beta female, was missing! We waited, hoping she was separated in the hunt but after three hours she had still not been seen. We have not seen Solo since the 15th of September and unfortunately we have no answers as to what might have happened.
Unfortunately, we fear the worst for Solo but maybe, just maybe, one day she pops up out of the blue for a visit.
Until then we continue to track and monitor the Crossroad’s pack on a daily basis with our conservation volunteers who get to know them and grow to love them!