Snared Wild Dog Rescue Mission

May 22 2015

On Sunday 10 May, Nadav Ossendryver received a message from the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Grant Beverley of Kruger Wild Dog Project needed Latest Sightings’ help regarding a wild dog that was reportedly trapped in a snare. The dog had last been seen in front of Nkambeni lodge, west of the S3.

Nadav says, “I immediately distributed a message to all community members in the Pretoriuskop area to adjust their route to this vicinity, where the pack would most likely be found.”  Following two tedious days of trying to locate her, relief finally kicked in when she was spotted early Tuesday morning.

Following locating her, Grant says, “The next step was to contact SANParks’ vets to assist in the darting of her”. The spoken about dog is a member of the “Ditsala Pack”, which currently contains six individuals, and she is the Alpha female. Nadav exclaims, “It was an emotional time for me, the dog was also pregnant!”
Latest Sightings has been working alongside Grant to assist the wild dog project in protecting them against snares and general research since 2011. “To finally be a part of a rescue mission really moved me”, says Nadav, and he continues “In addition to this, it was also feeling the pups in the pregnant dog, while five bystanders watched on – the other members of her pack.”
Once the dog is asleep they simply remove the snare, draw some blood for further research and wake her up as quickly as possible to get her back to the pack!  Grant says, “Fortunately the dog was in good condition prior to this happening, and was even recently seen hunting with the rest of the pack at the entrance to Nyumundwa dam on the S1.”

The Endangered Wildlife Trust conducts a long-term research and monitoring programme on wild dogs in the Kruger. The study aims to gain a better understanding of their use of space, distribution within the park, and the ecological and anthropogenic factors that influence their population dynamics. The project is registered as an official research project in partnership with South African National Parks Scientific Services department.  

Snares are the probability of poaching for bush meat, however wild dogs are not the target of the snares, but unfortunately are frequently caught as innocent bycatch. The reason they are susceptible to being caught in snares is because they often use game paths to hunt where snares are set.

Following the rescue mission, Nadav says, “It was imperative for me to take some time out at a nearby waterhole, to just sit and take in what had just unfolded.” His message to the community is to keep on tinging. “When people post a sighting on Latest Sightings, it can really change an animal's life,” he concludes. Latest Sightings connects all the visitors in the park sharing sightings, to the people who are actually able to save these animals' lives.

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