Their curiosity is drawing them a little further from the den area to see what they may discover out there in the bush. Our Land Rovers have even been totally surrounded by the investigative pups a few times!
The pack is working very hard, having to hunt sometimes twice a day to provide meat for the 8 hungry bellies
Since the Alpha female is the most experienced and one of the most skilled hunters in the pack, hunting success would be a lot more difficult without her so she leaves the pups in the care of a babysitter enabling her to participate in the hunt. The babysitter is usually the other female left in the pack, the yearling female (Alpha female’s daughter). She has an overwhelming inclination to care for the pups so she can learn in preparation for possibly one day raising her own. Should there be a potential threat of danger the Alpha male will stay behind and baby sit or if there is extreme danger such as lions close by, the Alpha female will even stay behind.
The pups are in a very playful stage learning hunting skills while wrestling and biting each other. They also establish the separate male and female hierarchies amongst each other during this phase. Their complex social behaviour also seems to be more learned behaviour as opposed to instinctive and each pack has a culture much like humans that is passed down from generation to generation! All the individual adults pass on their own acquired knowledge down to the little ones.
We estimate it is only a precious few weeks that the pack will remain at the den site and look forward to every special sighting!