Mating Wild Dogs
During a morning game drive, we came upon a pack of wild dogs. The dogs are a new pack in this area consisting of 8 adults. As we watched them resting on the side of the road, we noticed some strange behaviour from the alpha male and female.
The alpha male moved over to the alpha female and with some encouragement, she stood up, and they began mating. This is an extremely rare sighting. To see wild dogs in their natural habitat is very special, but to see them mate is something even many guides do not get to see in their career.
Wild dogs, from central towards southern Africa, generally mate between the months of April-July. During the “breeding season” the alpha male will work hard to keep other males at bay. This will ensure he is the only male to mate with the alpha female. Unlike other dog species, the mating of the African Wild Dog is a short affair, lasting just a minute or so. If mating is successful, the female goes through a gestation of 2-2.5 months. She will give birth to her pups in an underground den site where she will remain and look after the litter.
It will now be up to the rest of the pack to hunt and return with food to the den site for the alpha female and her pups. Once her pups reach between 8-10 weeks, they can start to accompany the adults on short hunts. This is preparing them to leave the den site and begin the typical behaviour of territorial roaming with the rest of the pack.
We are holding thumbs that this mating was successful, and we will be able to see the new pups before the end of the season. Hopefully, the pack will feel comfortable to den nearby. Watch the video below to see the incredible sight we got to witness.