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!!
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.
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!