Londolozi Private Game Reserve has recently welcomed the birth of the first wild dog pups since 2010.

A healthy litter of 10 were born and are an immense boost to the african wild dog population as the species is listed as endangered on the IUCN’s Red List. Painted Wolves are also South Africa‘s most endangered large predator.

 

 

Field guide James Tyrrell spent days searching for the pregnant female. She had been heavily pregnant when he last saw her and he knew it was a matter of days. This birth is a real reason to celebrate as wild dogs are becoming increasingly threatened throughout Africa.

James wrote on the reserve’s blog:

‘Although it’s sad that this happened during lockdown, when so many guests from around the world could be enjoying such an amazing spectacle, the reality is this story isn’t about us, it’s about the pack,

With fewer than 500 wild dogs left in South Africa, this tiny pack (who are understood to be the second pack to give birth in the country this year) have given their species something they – and I suppose all of us – desperately need: hope.

He added:

‘Regular visits to the den since then have shown amazing growth in the pups, and a trail camera placed discreetly watching over the den’s entrance has revealed some fascinating behaviour, much of which we’ll be sharing over the next few weeks,’

 

Check out footage of Londolozi’s adorable new wild dog pups:

 

The wild dog population is estimated at between 3,000 – 5,000 individuals across Africa, according to Endangered Wildlife Trust.

Painted wolves are endangered for a variety of reasons, primarily human-wildlife conflict and the decreasing size of suitable habitat. The front line of this conflict is usually on domestic farms where the wild dogs will unknowingly wander onto a farm and will be killed by farmers trying to protect their livestock.

 

 

Wild dogs are also susceptible to diseases like rabies and distemper which are detrimental to the already fragile population.

Cover Image: James Tyrell/Instagram