The Painted Dog

Out in the Linyati region of Botswana, we were tracking Leopard.  We had found the pug marks¹ of a leopard, but could not quite find exactly where she had slinked away into the thicket.  Our minds were on a Leopard sighting when as quick as a flash, whoosh!!  
What was that?

IMG_3540It was a pack of African Wild Hunting Dog, sometimes referred to as the Painted Dog, due to their beautifully patterned coats. They were tracking down an Impala.

Before we knew it, our landcruiser was in hot pursuit of the action.  We  held on for dear life as we bounded over pot holes,  dodged obstacles and watched these incredible dogs full of focus and intent.  Their commitment to the task was incredible.    Finally we  caught up to these skillful hunters.  The African Wild Hunting dog is a specialised pack hunter and  they have the ability to exhaust their prey, as they have incredible endurance,  they can run up to 55 kms per hour for several kilometres.  They made this look easy and sadly the Impala  lost her race.

It was incredibly amazing to watch these 5 dogs kill and devour the Impala, in an incredible 7 minutes flat.  Quickly and efficiently the Impala was no more. Nothing went to waste.

You would think that witnessing a kill might be stressful, but on this occasion it was so skilled and efficient.  We felt good knowing that this afternoon the puppies would be well fed, when their team returned to regurgitate their success.

 

¹ Pug Marks this refers to the  footprints left by most animals.

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