Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wild dogs causes a stir in the Mara

Today over lunch, I was informed by the chairman of Kenya Wildlife Trust, Mr. Allan Earnshaw of a sighting of four wild dogs in the Mara at a place called Hamerkop bridge. The person who reported this was the cheetah researcher, Dr. Femke.
After full confirmation, I informed my guest and we headed out to the location to witness this rare sighting in recent years in the Mara. I know there have been sighting of a few wild dogs on the Mara triangle not long ago, but on the eastern side of the reserve, it has been long. We have had a few sightings in the neighbouring conservancies recently, and we are now living in high hope that this is an indication of a return of the painted wolves.
When left camp, Rekero, I was held up briefly by a sighting of a black Rhino. However, we shortly carried on our mission to find the dogs. I followed the directions to the spot where the dogs were and I must say it was all excitement when we saw the four dogs under some croton bushes, sleeping. After we had a good view we left briefly and then came back again. We found the warden had arrived at the sighting to control the vehicle. There were many people who came to see them. We spent time with them until late when we returned to camp.

The big question now is where did the dogs come from? We believe, they are the ones that have been seen at Olkinyei, Olare Orok and Mara North conservancies (near Aitong) the dogs were very relaxed and we hope they will settle nearby. 
 The dogs resting under croton bush near Hamerkop bridge

One of the dogs

One of the dogs resting


kiwi_on_safari said...

Hi Paul...I was in the Mara for two months from beginning of July until the end of August and had three separate sightings of wild dogs. All of these were in the Oloolaimutia Gate area. On Aug.2 I saw seven in total ( 4 adults and 2 mid size pups ) On Aug 4 ( 5 adults ) and Aug 6 ( 5 adults ).

At the Aug 4 sighting, at one point, my driver and I were the only vehicle there. We turned the motor off and sat quietly waiting for the dogs to come out of the bushes. After some minutes they all casually came directly towards us. I stood up at the back of our van and looked over the top. All the dogs stopped and were standing there , quite calmly, looking up at me. It was awesome and something I will never forget. A surreal moment between me and these endangered animals in nature with no one else around and the sound of silence.

I have many photos in my database and have included video footage in a promo video I made recently.

I hope too that the dogs are making a comeback and that there are indeed more than one pack in the Mara.

Keep up the good work Paul. I am a follower of yours :-)

marie.lister said...

Wonderful news, it looks like I will return next year, hopefully they will still be in the Mara!

Robert said...

We saw a family of four in early September just outside the Ololoimutiek Gate. Seemed very interested in our safari van and approached within a few feet of us. I have photos if that would help identify them.

Alfred Safaris said...

Thanks for sharing this info,they came from those hills of Mara Sarova,and may be from some conservancies like Isaaten/mara Bushtops,and Leleshwa's/Loitas'