Sand Rivers indaba*

*indaba is isiZulu meaning a discussion or conference

African wild dog pups are so inquisitive

When I came across the dogs, there were 12; five adults, including the alpha male and female, and seven younger animals. Most of the time they slept, occasionally changing positions. Later they were joined by 11 more, who must have been sleeping farther away. There was much excitement when the groups came together – twittering and leaping and licking each other, they really seemed so pleased. As the day wore on the younger dogs began to play. They’re extremely inquisitive; soon they were inspecting my vehicle, biting the tyres and chewing on the back bumper and side step. I had to yell at them to stop the tyre chewing! At about 6 pm the whole pack woke up and began greeting one another, more twittering and chittering – unbelievable energy. Then, led by the alpha pair, they set off, presumably to look for dinner. It was an amazing experience to drive alongside them as they loped along – such wild beautiful creatures. Sad to think that there are so few – 6500 – left on the planet.

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