A wild dog in panic mode

Posted on October 4, 2020

The African Wild Dogs are well known for their highly energetic natures together with their ferocious and seemingly effortless hunting skills. They often move swiftly as a well-coordinated pack looking for their next meal.

We recently managed to spend an afternoon with these endangered animals while they were casually moving around the Sand River.

As tranquil as these large river landscapes may be, there are a few birds that insist on making their presence known. One of these will be the Blacksmith Lapwing. They are usually found along the water’s edge, whether it be a river, dam or mud wallow. They are by nature very protective of their little territories and especially so when they have a ground nest nearby.

The Blacksmith Lapwing has a very distinctive, high pitched call. It is likened to a blacksmith striking his anvil. When agitated, the calls will intensify and may even develop into a sharp shrill. This noise is exactly what broke the peace and quiet while we were viewing the wild dogs.

One of the wild dogs was walking through the sand and got too close to one of the lapwings. In an instant, the bird was enraged and took to the sky.

The poor wild dog did not know what was happening and immediately scampered off like a cowardly dog.

Sheer panic was written all over the dogs’ face. These birds are known for “dive bombing” their opponents in order to divert them away from their living area. This tactic surely worked as the frightened wild dog wasted no time getting out of there.

Written by – Cal Butler

Images by  – Johan de la Rey

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