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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Wild Dog and Jackal Family!

Have a close look at the picture below (click to enlarge).Your eyes are not deceiving you - that's an African Wild Dog taking an afternoon nap very close to a Black-backed Jackal.

Botswana is full of surprises. Last month we came accorss this female African Wild Dog living with Jackals. Firstly Wild Dogs normally can't survive long alone. They need their pack to hunt and protect one another. Secondly, Jackals are normally competition for them. Competitors fight one another or at least drive one another away.

Apparently this female Wild Dog somehow got left behind by her pack on Chiefs Island, Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana. That was more than a year ago. She is an incredible hunter and has managed to hunt by herself and stay safe from lions and hyenas for all that time. Our guide Dr Malinga told us she has formed this remarkable partnership with the Jackals. Their new Dog-Jackal pack is a neat symbiosis whereby the Jackals offer some protection in the form of additional eyes, ears and noses, and she provides additional food. The Jackals can't keep up on the hunt but yet she shares the kill. In fact, most remarkably of all, she was apparently regurgitating food for the Jackals pups. That absolutely amazed us!

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