I’m sad to report that we recently found the carcass of one of our collared wild dogs in Gonarezhou National Park. The young male was called Mowgli and was part of the Machaniwa pack. It was clear when his carcass was recovered that he had died of a snare wound – the wire was still attached to the neck bones of the carcass.
It’s the second collared dog we have found snared within a couple of kms of the Mozambique boundary, illustrating the potentially significant anthropogenic mortality these dogs are facing in this area. Obviously we are only finding the carcasses of collared ones, because of the collar signal, but there is little doubt that other individuals are also being killed as well.
The Machaniwa Pack was 7 adults and 7 pups in August last year. By December, there were only 12. The same day we found the carcass, we also saw some members of the pack – but only five. We are hoping this was just a temporary break-away group (it was only last years pups), but otherwise it’s very concerning news for the pack.
Unfortunately, Mowgli was the only collared dog in the pack and so now we face the challenge of fitting another collar to the pack, so we can keep a track of them, and understand more about the threats they face. Unfortunately that is no small task in that huge, wild area…