Recently there have been a few tense moments as lions have moved perilously close to the painted dog den on a few occasions, luckily the pups have been safely inside!
The Alpha female’s experience and alertness has prevented any potentially disastrous intrusion from occurring.
There have also been some other unwanted feathered visitors at the den! Some Hooded vultures were attracted by the regurgitation of meat parcels for the pups, this image below is of the bravest of the pups peeping out towards a vulture from the safety of the den.
All this activity has prompted the Alpha female to move dens! A very wise decision from an experienced leader and mother! The new den is also a modified termite mound about 3 kilometres further south in a more open area where they can be quickly alerted to any potential threat. It must have been a scary trip for the 11 week old pups, 3km of potential danger but also a great learning curve and confidence booster!
With their new found courage the pups are spending most their time outside of the den. There is much interaction between them and the adults as they continue to establish their social status, look at the folded back ears and exposed belly of this submissive pup below.
The adults are having to hunt more regularly at the moment to provide for the hungry bellies, they came across a young hippo in a waterhole the other day and this dog showed more than a little curiosity! He looked like he wanted to swim over to the Hippo…looks like easy prey when all you can see is the head above the water!
Their breeding success so far this year is such exciting news for the small pack and if all goes according to plan we will have a healthy pack of 14 dogs in a month or so once the pups are large enough to run with the adults!