Wild Dog Dens

Aug 4th, 2007, 09:30 PM
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Wild Dog Dens

Has anyone out there been to the Wild Dog dens at Duma Tau (Wilderness) or Motswiri (Selinda/Wilderness) ?
If so could you let us know what you have seen.
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:59 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274

If you're looking for a description of den sites in those locations, I can't help. But I can help regarding pack activity...the Selinda pack is the one which occasionally dens in the Duma Tau area, and I have seen it at three den sites in Selinda territory several times. While topography may differ, behaviour wouldn't, not much anyway.

The pack has numbered more than 20 adults and pups on most occasions. I've seen them lounging around the den site; pups playing solo and together, biting twigs and dry balls of elephant dung; adults interacting affectionately with pups; adults feeding pups; adults preparing to go on hunts and setting out on hunts, our vehicle following them; adults trying to stop pups following them on hunts; vultures foraging on ground around the den; a hyena passing by and being seen off by an adult 'baby-sitter'. No doubt there are a few things I've forgotten, but they were the main sights.

Two of these dens were in large termite hills under biggish shady trees with a fair bit of open space around. The third den was on flat, scrubby grassland. Each had excellent viewing. I believe increased lion activity has forced the pack to den in more difficult terrain in more recent times.

afrigalah is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 01:24 AM
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Hi John,

On our recent visit I found out that the den in Duma Tau is roughly 2km from the Savaute Channel end of the Zib Lagoon,and that there is a den at Motswiri. We were not allowed to visit either we were wonering whether anybody else has?

Aug 5th, 2007, 01:30 AM
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You return from Botswana already? How are the dogs at lagoon? The den still by the airstrip?

HariS is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 01:38 AM
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I thought you had Motswiri on your schedule? Is the den not accessible for some reason?
HariS is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 04:55 AM
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Hi Hari,

The dogs at Lagoon are OK there are still 9 pups! I have posted a trip report Selinda/Kwando earlier today.
You will see we got no real answers to the den at Motswiri, for obvious reasons I cannot tell uou in public what we heard. If you can send me your email address I can give you more details my adress is [email protected]
We now have an album at Leballa as well everything there is OK, Alwyn has now been joined by Blue.
Aug 5th, 2007, 09:44 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I'll add what I know...

There is an active dog den with 3 pups on the south side of the Savuti, between Rock pan and Zib, but back in the mopane.

jweis is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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Some explanations about the den rules....

Reading that news report.....i thought they call Amber the Zib female?

On a sad note, the sick female cheetah (may be the one i saw on my trip) did not make it through....
HariS is offline  
Aug 8th, 2007, 09:56 PM
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Thanks Hari,
The late denning may be a reason for not visiting, let's see if they allow tourists in next monthh? Only 3 pups that's not very good. The female leopard is probably Amber we have only ever seen her once at Selinda, in 8 visits. Presumably there is no news from Motswiri?
At the moment I am prepared to give Wilderness the benefit of the doubt on trips to dens.
Aug 8th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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Yes, the alpha female is a bit old isn't she? hopefully, the pack will do their best to ensure that the three pups are protected!
HariS is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 03:43 AM
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Hari & Ken,

I cannot update you with the current wilddog den sites but I doubt that the so-called Zib female is Amber. Amber is not shy at all.

Peter Lemon & I were lucky to spend 3 hours with her back in 2002. Infact at one stage I was sitting on the bonnet of the vehicle having a beer whilst she ate from her impala kill less than 5 metres from us. She was in Devastation Alley at the time but I know her core territory has moved closer to the CMU.

There are a few images I took of her on John's site http://www.afrigalah.com/guest2.html

Later on the same drive we found another female leopard drinking from zib lagoon opposite the Duma Tau hide....brave leopard 8 lion (Savuti pride) were lying amongst the bluebush not far from her.

GeoffG is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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Two years ago the dogs denned at Mombo and no guests were taken to the site, in an effort to reduce stress on a small pack trying to raise its frist litter.
That same year we did visit the den near Kings Pool, where visits were limited to one vehicle per game drive. In addition, you had to know to ask about it, another subtle way of limiting attention.
napamatt is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Thanks for that most interesting. I agree that limited access may be a good thing, keeping it secret may not be. I have no idea what damage visits by vehicles may cause. In the past there were certainly no restrictions at Zib.
Aug 9th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Thanks, Geoff....

Don't remember driving by the CMU area much on my trip! so, not familiar with those areas....

I love visiting John's website every now and then....especially that lion kill on the spillway. BB has a similar picture (different angle) that he maintains in the main camp photo album.

HariS is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 06:21 PM
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The wild dogs dens, should be completely left alone for the first five weeks...even the conservationists who study them do not approach in the first five weeks, as the dogs may move the den and that is very risky business. If we all truly love the wildlife, we should quit demanding our the camps or the guides harrass the animal for our pathetic enjoyment....Thank God Wilderness is setting some restrictions...for all of those who complain about Wilderness take heed...if you want some good info, or if you really want to help, go to www.painteddog.org. They are a conservation organization in Zimbabwe and have been working there for almost 15 years with the wild dogs.....or email [email protected] and ask him to be on the mailing list for his monthly dog reports. Ask Peter if tourists should be watching the dens.....a few more pushy tourist and we will cause more harm than the farmers and their bounty on the dogs.
kata1 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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What in the above thread warrants such an unkind response? The purpose of the thread was to try to find out if restrictions were being placed on viewing wild dog dens, and if they are to discover why. I do not consider myself a pushy tourist, and would certainly not wish to visit dens if it was likely to cause a problem. I have only ever visited dens in two areas in one case the pups were not yet out of the den in another they were around 2 months old, nobody suggested that this would cause the dogs harm. I have many times seen responses to queries about viewing Wild Dogs responded to by the generalised advice that the most likely viewing is during the denning period.
I am aware of the trust you refer to and have seen their vehicles operating in and around Hwange area,I am told they do a great job for which I am extremely grateful. I will certainly make contact and post the response on this thread so that everybody who is interested can be made aware of the situation.

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