dogsOn Saturday 29th November the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in collaboration with its partners, released a pack of five African Wild Dogs that were brought together at Colchester Zoo’s UmPhafa Reserve into the Somkhanda Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The reserve is an area known for its Wild Dog conservation and is the perfect place for this group to settle.  The pack made up of two males and three females were originally brought earlier in the year at Colchester Zoo’s UmPhafa Reserve! Having purpose built a boma to house these dogs, the staff and interns took on the important role of deciding which dogs would make up this new pack. Staff spent a lot of time observing which dogs of the original 7 females and 4 males housed had bonded well together, this involved daily behavioural studies and on the basis of these studies they decided which dogs to remove to make this pack of 5!

The remaining dogs have also continued to do well with the males and females mixing well with tails wagging! It is hoped they will be released into the wild over the coming weeks and become a second successful breeding group.

Commenting on the recent release, David Marneweck, the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme Field Officer “all five Wild Dogs are doing well and have been seen hunting and moving through their new home as a united pack”. He continued, “This is a great day for Wild Dog conservation in South Africa as we attempt to re-establish populations of this endangered species. With consistently less than 450 Wild Dogs in South Africa, it is crucial to form new packs and introduce them onto new reserves to increase the number of functional packs, expand the range of Wild Dogs and promote their status.”  

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