Lions plague denning African wild dogs

Wild dogs in the Savé Valley Conservancy face great challenges from their greatest competitors, lions and hyenas. The denning season is when the effects on the wild dog population are most visible.

This pack of four dogs (split from the Batanai pack of 30 at the beginning of the denning season) has been disturbed by lions at their den from the time they started denning. On the 1st of June when we went to set up camera traps at the den, we found a dead young male lion, with most of its body in the hole where the pups and the alpha female were!!

dead lion at den_1 June 2013


This lion was suspected to be a lone individual, separated from the pride and could have been looking for easy prey. We managed to pull out the lion carcass with the help from the guys from Sango Ranch.

Clearing off dead lion

Dead lion after being pulled out


To our relief, the alpha female wild dog jumped out of the hole and ran off as we drove away.  We have yet to see the fate of pups, but mum being alive and well is a good sign….  We are just praying that the lion wasn’t sick and hasn’t transmitted any disease to the wild dogs.  We’ll be keeping a very close eye on them.

More on lions at this den site coming soon!

Bookmark and Share


  1. Jesus Muro Figueres
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Did you perform a necropsy? Could be CDV, TB?

  2. John
    Posted July 6, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Hi, I am curious to know how the pups are fairing? Has there been good survival this year?

  3. Alana Vosloo
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Are the pups still alive?

  4. Posted August 24, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Hi Alana,
    The 5 pups that emerged after the lions visit are still doing well!! There are still 4 adults and 5 pups in the pack.

  5. Hammad
    Posted September 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    This lion was very sick. Do you think that a larger pack of wild dogs would have attacked a lion that is in this condition?

Post a Comment