The pack of wild dogs had been running east since dawn.  As the sun cast its Autumn glare across the grassy crests of Londolozi, the dogs spotted a herd of impala and gave chase.  Their attempt was unstructured, confused and the impala swiftly evaded their hunt.  Nearby a dazzle of zebra, alarmed by the cries of fleeing impala, trotted forward to investigate the commotion.

The dazzle split itself into two groups. The females bunched closely together, forming a protective barrier around the foals in the herd, whilst the confident stallions trotted forward to the scattered group of dogs, before breaking into a full gallop…

Most prey species are nervous of predators, regardless of their size.  I think that the reaction of the zebras to these wild dogs was to protect the vulnerable foals in the herd.  Small enough for the opportunistic pack to hunt, it is from this sort of chaos that a lone foal could potentially be singled out and killed.  Zebras characteristically work to protect and defend other members of their dazzle and to see it play out in such a spectacular fashion made for a very memorable sighting!  I am always interested to hear other points of view as to the behaviour of both the zebras and wild dogs, so please feel free to write them down in the comments section below…

Filmed by: Rich Laburn

Filed under Wildlife

About the Author

Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography, combined with his field-guiding background, have seen him take the Londolozi blog to new heights since he began it in 2009. Rich ...

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6 Comments

on Zebras vs Wild Dogs

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Deb Kermisch
Guest

Great pics.We’re visiting in September and we can’t wait.

Rae
Guest

Wow! What a show, indeed!!

Wendy Hawkins
Guest

Oh Rich, that was fun to watch! When I was in Madikwe in September, we noticed that the dogs just ignored the Zebra, as they seemed to sense that they have a good kick and went after an Impala, which they chased into the fence! Sad, but they know how to strategise (is that the right word)?
Thanks for sharing and keep them coming please

Tammy
Guest

Amazing how they worked together against the threat! Loved watching it & wish I was back there!

Linda
Guest

how exciting! wild dogs are always interesting to watch – always on the go. Excellent filming considering the constant and fast action. Thanks Rich. I am glad the dogs decided to stop testing the strength of the herd and move on.

Trevor & Colleen
Guest

Rich we were following a pack with Eric out of Granite and Marvin and Melvin were in the same sighting. It was about 2008 (thought it was only about 2 years ago!) not far from the MM break. The Wild Dogs came across a heard of Wildebeest and amazingly the same thing happened. A couple of bulls charged the dogs and they seemed confused and started to yelp and “socialized” as if to ignore the Wildebeest. There was a standoff with one bull in particular for quite some time. The dogs lost interest after a while and just trotted off. We let another vehicle into the sighting so I don’t know the final outcome. will send photo of what one dog thought of the Wildebeest!

Would like to see more staff with profile on WWW. Didn’t see picture of Oxy?

Take care greetings to all.
Trevor and Colleen

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