Following on from our post in July about our unsuccessful wild dog introduction, and the death of Raine from her injuries, to date it seems that the young dogs have accepted Ricky into their pack. She still seems to be very careful and restrained, but amiable and gentle behaviour has been observed between the dogs; furthermore, no aggression is involved during feeding. However, due to her mature age and a severe limp of her right fore leg caused by a previous fracture, we are not sure for how long Ricky will be able to keep up with the 1- year old trio.
Almost two months after release Yogi, Messi, Robin and Ricky are covering large areas of the 20 000 ha Okonjima Nature Reserve with occasional returns to their release site. Contrary to all expectations the pack claimed their first successful hunt just four weeks after release; with Messi and Ricky in the lead, the dogs managed to dig their first warthog out of its hole. Obviously establishing a routine, the dogs added four more successful warthog hunts during the last few weeks. Ricky remains the lowest ranking member of the pack, but is regularly found lying close to the three youngsters. Constant monitoring of movement and pack dynamics will tell if Ricky is accepted into the pack as a full member and if this attempt at introduction will ultimately be a success.
A full report of the whole wild dog introduction can be found on the AfriCat website here.