The female of the new 'Kapamba' pack of three wild dogs is showing signs of early pregnancy! The pack was first seen on the Kapamba River this May and has been a regular sighting for guests at Bilimungwe, Kapamba & Zungulila Bushcamps this season.
When he saw the recent guest’s photos of her, Dr Matt Becker, CEO/Programme Manager of the Zambian Carnivore Programme, said “…fantastic news! She certainly looks like she’s in the early stages of pregnancy and not surprising - there seems to be a pulse of dispersal with subordinates just before denning; with female dispersing usually because there are some options in the area (i.e. dispersing males).
She was with the Kaingo pack (seen in the Mfuwe area and often from Mfuwe Lodge) in April and then left - she broke off with her sisters last year and moved up and down along the Luangwa River, before rejoining her natal pack - so really cool she’s met up and mated. We don’t know the males, so they’re new to our database.
Small packs rarely have success in rearing pups - in general it’s considered to be 5 adults/yearlings as the minimum pack size that can effectively provision pups and protect them from lions & hyenas at the den and beyond, but of course there are exceptions (a 3 pack raise 2 pups last year in Liuwa), so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”
Fantastic news indeed - we will be sure to keep everyone posted on any news of puppies.
To watch an incredible video (by Bilimungwe guest Justin Heise) of the dogs chasing an impala through the Kapamba River click here.
Photos by Bilimungwe guest Ted Keller and Zungulila guests Liz Junell, Yvette Knaap, Wilco Simons, Corina Verkerk & Aad Straathof.