Jackal pups reported by ranger at UmPhafa!

Jackal-pupLast year UmPhafa didn’t have the best of luck with four little Black Backed Jackal pups that were located in a den along the main road. They were sadly all killed by a Honey Badger. This year we are hoping our little bundles will fare a lot better.

We have been lucky enough to not only have pups at the same den as last year but to have found another group on the same road a few hundred meters away. Our second group of pups are definitely a lot more inquisitive and will often sneak a peek at us as we drive by. Tiny black button noses peer up at you and then as quick as we have seen them they are off.

jackal pup nightJackals are a small carnivorous mammal from the dog family, which also includes wolves, foxes, coyotes and dogs.  There are three species of Jackal in Africa; the black backed, the side striped and the golden.  They feed on small to medium sized mammals, insects and reptiles and are also known as great scavengers.  They live as monogamous pairs and often pups from a previous litter will stay on and help raise the following years litter, these are known as helpers and this often occurs in areas where there are large numbers of Jackals.  Large numbers can mean territories are scarce and competition for food is high, it therefore makes more sense to stay within a family group until conditions/survival chances for dispersal improve. 

In the early evening you can often hear the classic wail as the Jackals call to one another which generally only family members respond to – it is most definitely a sound that we never tire of. Like a lot of wild dogs they are often seen as pest. On the reserve they can make a significant dent in our survival rate during the lambing seasons but we accept this as part of the natural cycle.  Luckily Jackals are not currently threatened. 

Here on UmPhafa we are keeping our fingers crossed that these two groups of pups can make it to adulthood. 

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