Side by Side…

Posted on August 14, 2010

We were treated to a truly rare and special sighting of 2 Side Striped Jackals in the final stages of mating yesterday morning.

I am busy guiding the Kalan Family for 2 weeks and we have been treated to some really special sightings so far.

Arnold and Joan have been visiting and exploring Africa for over 20 years and it is a priveledge to drive people so passionate about our continent and her wildlife. Mike, their son and his wife Debra have just joined us for the second week. Their last safari was 11 years ago so they are long overdue and more passionate than ever!

We were on our way to view a Leopard yesterday when we came across these 2 Side Striped Jackals which looked like they were stuck together??

Siamese twins

Nevertheless all the questions began flying around!!

Are they stuck?

Siamese twins? Wow! They have survived along time stuck together!

Are they mating?

After at least 5 minutes of snarling at each other they suddenly broke away and ran in opposite directions.

Abraham my tracker has not seen this in over 20 years in the bush, I have certainly never seen it before and chatting to Duncan back at the lodge he has also never witnessed such behaviour.

The mammal books were hauled out and Google was expertly operated by Louise to find the answer.

It turns out when the dog family mate, the male’s penis base (Bulbus glandis) swells during intromission. The female vulval entrance also swells, effectively locking the animals together.

The male will cock a leg over the female’s back and they stand back to back until swelling subsides, usually 1 to 2 minutes. We witnessed this for at least 5 minutes, so these 2 were locked for an unusually long time.

This apparently ensures that sperm is transferred effectively in a single mating session! The animals stand back to back to look for danger while they are in this vulnerable position.

A rare moment witnessed and appreciated by us all, none more deserving than Arnold and Joan with so many years spent visiting the Arican bush.

8 thoughts on “Side by Side…

  1. That’s what we love so much about being in the bush, excuse the pun!!!!! No matter how long you live here you are always going to see something new, thanks Dave, very interesting and great pictures.

  2. I am surprised by this blog! You have never seen dogs mating??? I would think that, in the villages, dogs would be around.

  3. Hi Kay. I have witness dogs mating yes, but I have not seen seen the kind of behavior depicted in Dave’s article above. Jackals in this area are usually quite shy, especially Side Striped Jackals, and more often than not mostly nocturnal, so to see them out in the open like this was, in our book, a very unusual sighting.

    I would be interested if anyone else has witnessed the same before, please share your comments with us, we learn everyday.

  4. been going to the bush my whole life and never seen this…jeepers, i get excited seeing a jackal, let alone mating ones! i have read about this, but never seen it…same is meant to be true for wild dogs isnt it? very different strategy from the short, sweet and repetitive matings of the cats!

    thanks for sharing, great sighting!

  5. Thanks Chad, yeah so different from cats which we see much more often. The same is true for Wild Dogs and what a sight that would be!

    To witness and learn from these type of sightings is why we are out here in the bush.

  6. It was just as Dave described. Thank you for your expertise and a wonderful 2 weeks. See you next September. Arnold

  7. It was just as Dave described. Thank you for your expertise and a wonderful 2 weeks. See you next September. Arnold

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