Wilderness & PDC Release Wild Dog Pack Into Mana Pools Park
Nicholas Dyer
Press Releases (Wilderness Safaris)

Wilderness & PDC Release Wild Dog Pack Into Mana Pools Park

By Taazima Kala-Essack

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28 August 2020

Ready for the final stage of their journey, the Mpindo Pack of wild dogs housed in a boma at Wilderness Safaris Chikwenya Camp will be released into Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe on the 4th of September 2020.

Initially due to be released in April, the alpha female was observed to be pregnant, so it was decided to delay the release until after the puppies were born, and strong enough to survive.

"Together with Capmount Lodges and Painted Dog Conservation (PDC), we translocated the wild dogs from Hwange National Park in September 2019 to help mitigate the threat of human-wildlife conflict, as well as expand the range of this extraordinary Endangered species", notes Dr Neil Midlane, Wilderness Safaris Group Sustainability Manager. "With fewer than 7 000 wild dogs left in Africa, it is imperative that we continue to take proactive measures to help secure the future of the species. Ecotourism has been an important contributor to local economies and we need to everything possible now to help keep it that way".

In February 2018, the pack was reported to be predating on goats belonging to the Mpindo community on the eastern boundary of Hwange. PDC captured the dogs in June and held them at the PDC rehabilitation centre before releasing them into a different area of the park. The dogs made a bee-line straight back to the Mpindo community. In consultation with Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) it was decided that they should be relocated to another national park: Mana Pools.

Mpindo Pack
Mpindo PackSource: Nicholas Dyer via Wilderness Safaris

Unlike Hwange, which is located alongside local villages, in Mana Pools there are no communities nearby. This will help to reduce human-wildlife conflict, expand their range and revive the current declining wild dog population in Mana.

The 19-strong pack, currently comprising three adults, six sub-adults and ten puppies, has remained fit and healthy thanks to the continued support of Wilderness Safaris and the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which have been providing food and logistical support to the project, while a dedicated team of specialists from PDC has been monitoring the wellbeing of the dogs, as well as providing food over the past month.

Mpindo Pack
Mpindo PackSource: Nicholas Dyer via Wilderness Safaris

As Peter Blinston, PDC Executive Director, concludes, “We are thrilled that the pack has acclimatised to Mana so well. We are proud to continue working with Wilderness to ensure the pack will be at its optimum when released into the park from the boma. Keeping them for as long as we have has increased the likelihood of them staying here”.

Click here to view a short video and more imagery of the Mpindo Pack.

ENDS.

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