About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on What Happened to the Wild Dog Pups?

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Such sad news, watching all ten pups play was an absolute delight. However, the good news is that there are still three pups alive and growing. Thank you for keeping us updated, even when the news is difficult.

Very sad.

James, what wonderful blog today, only three pups remaining? How did the others die? Where they attacked by Hyenas? Or did they die by natural causes?

Master Tracker

Heart breaking

James, Thanks for the update – a sad one for sure… Prayers for the final 3 pups!

So tragic, I so enjoyed watching them grow up, as you said it will be much easier for the parents to manage three pups.
Keep us posted on the remaining pups.

Ah, that is truly heartbreaking and must be even harder for you who are with them daily. I’m sorry you had to bring us this sad news but thank you for keeping us updated and for helping us see the positive side.

Senior Digital Ranger

Oh gosh this is so sad! Is there a chance that they could have drowned in the den? They are just so adorable with ears that seem bigger than their heads, just so precious!

Senior Digital Ranger

How dare I get so attached! I hope the remaining three will be able to grow and thrive successfully.

So sad! Heartbroken when three pups emerged!! Nature can be real cruel! At least we still have 3 pups that will hopefully make it to adudhood! A pack of 5 sounds a lot better than a pack of 2!!

Sad news but not unexpected as I read your feed yesterday. It seems impossible for one leopard to kill 7 pups in one go, but then I don’t know the ways of the wild. The upside, to remain optimistic, is three are left, giving the parents a better chance to raise them to adulthood. Additionally we all shared the joy of watching the 10 little pups make their debut, squealing and frolicking as puppies do that is preserved in our memories and photos. Thank you for the update.

Thee side of nature we don’t appreciate!

This is just heartbreaking news. In the back of the mind you know it’s a long shot all 10 survive, but you hope against the odds they do. Praying the other 3 survive to adulthood.

So sad to see. Nature is not always kind.

That is truly sad news but surely if a male leopard, lion or even a hyena had killed the pups there would be a carcass or at least the remains of one around the den? Unlikely that 7 pups can be eaten by an individual in a sitting.
What about a drowning or a snake bite in the den and 3 got lucky.
Is all actually immaterial as the outcome is tragic. Fingers crossed for the rest

Senior Digital Ranger

Oh, that is so sad – and unexpected – but that’s the nature of Nature. As James said, at least there are three left. I hope this den move is much safer for the whole family.

Tragic – and you rangers must be especially sad given the huge amount of time you’ve spent with them. Mother Nature can often be too rough.

Senior Digital Ranger

This is so sad. Would it be irrational to hope that the other 7 pups wandered off somewhere, and that they might show up? At least James, You have been able to capture the three pups, leaving us with light to smile, and joy to carry on.

Senior Digital Ranger

Sometimes there are just no words

I was so hoping that more of the puppies would emerge from the den….. my heart is sore. But will be positive and hope that the remaining three make it to adulthood. It’s a tough neighborhood they live in!

Such sad news! I was hoping all 10 would survive but knew it would be very difficult if not impossible. Just hope these 3 manage to survive. Thanks for keeping us updated!!

How really sad! Of course, it’s nature and nature is indeed often quite cruel, but still – they were such wonderful little animals! I do hope that the remaining three will make it.
By the way: Do the parents realize that there are so many pups missing?

James, it is so sad that 7 pups went missing…..but it is still puzzling to have 7 get killed all at once….if a male leopard came in and started a killing rampage, wouldn’t there be enough time for more of the pups to run and dive into the den? Would you be able to look around the area and see if there was a place with sign of an obvious confrontation or carcasses or flattened grass or blood, etc?

Hi Lisa, yes we are a bit confused too. We had a look around but didn’t find anything. UNfortunately it was two days ofrain and bad weather from when it happened to when we made the discovery so a lot of the signs would have been washed away…

Shattered by the news 😔but hoping that this brings the other three pups to adulthood and a long term relationship with you all at Londolozi. You have all cared so much for their welfare that it would be fitting if they became Londolozi family members and stick around to be as easy with vehicles as the Leopard have. 🙏🏻💕

Sad … looking forward to the camera trap data and analysis of the area around the old den to solve the mystery.

A very sad blog James. I can only imagine how upset you all were to learn this. Did anything show up on the trail cam to indicate what killed them? Am sure you looked for animal tracks around the den site. Absolutely heartbreaking and I pray the remaining 3 will make it to adulthood. Thank you for sharing this sad news with us. Be well and stay safe all of you.

So unfortunate that a majority of the pups have died, but hopefully the remaining three will thrive under the adults’ protection. Which leopard does/did the previous den fall in?

So sorry to hear this news. It has been a joy to follow this story from the beginning, and it continue to be so with the remaining members of the pack. All love and blessing to them!!

Such sad news. What a tough life out there. 😢

Senior Digital Ranger

I’m so sad by this news as I was excited to see them the first time playing and was so beautiful and was hoping to see them grow. Well there are 3 left and praying the have a better life then there siblings.

Terribly sad news about losing seven of the wild dog puppies!…just so sad, given that the”pack” only consists of one breeding pair ….the lost puppies were an intregal part of the the numbers needed to survive as a continuing pack…what awful bad luck for those ‘babies’…the pair are really up against the odds (not having the support system that other pack members offer)….just hope like mad that these three survive to adulthood to enable the pack to grow and prosper…. thanks for the news……fingers crossed!….

Senior Digital Ranger

Any idea what % of wild dog pups normally make it to adulthood? Let’s hope these three get to populate the pack, and that a new litter from the alpha parents is soon on the way …

Hi Alex,
It varies greatly from pack to pack but we were sadly told to expect 40% survival after the first three months with only two adults. AT 2 1/2 months we were starting to hope that was wrong, but…

Senior Digital Ranger

Such sad news James – good luck to the 3 remaining pups.

Incredibly sad, but nature has it’s way in the wild.

Very very sad news, they were so beautiful all together!

James, they are only 3 pups, what happened to rest of them? There used to be 3+7=10? What happened to rest all the 3 left, they are only three left? Did they die of natural causes?

James, what happened to pups? There are 3 left? What happened to other 7? Did they die from natural causes?

James, what happened to 7 pups? Did they die from natural causes?

Senior Digital Ranger

Interesting to hear about the 40% survival rate for wild dog pups in this size pack.

You mentioned that it’s been raining hard for two days and cold. I wonder if the pups could have died from flooding in the den, or from the cold/exposure?

I’m so sad to see so many disappear at once. Will you actually dig up the ground to see if the rain or a snake got them?

While my brain understands this is nature and the chance of all 10 pups surviving was low, my heart was so invested in these 10 pups watching their growth via the safari drive videos and daily updates. I was a little sad seeing the update come through on the weekend. =(. Fingers crossed for these three and another little for mum and dad in future.

Digital Ranger

Sad, but for the three remained now have better chance to survive , for the two adults is also hard to take care of 10 pups …so wish all of these 5 the best, safe and healthy.

We are late in our response and know the good outcome, but wanted you to know that the images are spectacular and we added the one of the cubs playing to our favorites!

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