Lucien had called in on the radio in the early morning to say that he was following up on a possible wild dog sighting. I chuckled to myself at his confidence as we headed out into the freezing cold morning expecting him to come up empty handed. However, to my surprise, no more than 15 minutes later the radio crackled with the sound of Lucien’s voice: “Wild dogs hunting at Ximpalapala koppie”! We rushed across Marthly in the biting cold and made it just in time to witness an amazing interaction.
The adult dogs had become separated from the younger dogs while off hunting. The five boisterous young dogs were playing a game of pin the tail on the zebra and were harassing the stallion of a small herd. Every attempt by the stallion to bite and lash out with his hooves was met with a whining cackle of joy by the young sub-adults who were much faster than he was and could maneuver out of his way with time to spare.
The dogs had no way of killing this stallion as he was too big and powerful but they reveled in teasing him – this provided great humour and some amazing photographs for our guests. I was amazed when I later found out that Lucien’s tracker, Like Gumede, had in fact dreamt the night before that he would see Wild Dogs at Ximpalapala – a reminder that not everything is as linear as tracking and finding and a bit of ethereal luck can help!
Strangely enough, a very similar sighting occurred just over a year ago in May 2013. Rich Laburn managed to capture the below footage of the dogs mercilessly teasing and chasing this herd of zebras as well!
Written & Photographed by: Chris Goodman