African wild dogs on the chase.

African wild dogs on the chase.

We were busy watching a Green Wood-hoopoe nest, the parents and their helpers brought in one insect after the other and thus gave us plenty photographic opportunities to catch them in flight. The dead Leadwood was home to more than just the wood-hoopoes as Tree Squirrels, Red-billed oxpeckers and a pair of Burchell’s starlings all found a suitable hole for their nests.

The relaxed and laid-back afternoon quickly turned into 20 minutes of pure adrenalin when an impala ram came running past our vehicle with an African wild dog following close behind. The impala immediately ran directly into Nyari dam as a last effort to get away from the trailing wild dog.

The impala had a very brief moment of relieve but as more wild dogs came up behind the dam wall we all knew his relieve won’t last long. Prey animals are known to run into water and if the body of water is big and deep enough they can attempt to escape or the predators will abandon the hunt if they can’t get to their prey. The wild dogs ran around the dam a few times before one decided to swim in after the impala and because the dam was not nearly big enough for an escape the rest of the pack was waiting for it on the other side.

It can be difficult at times to witness such an intense and emotional hunt where you wish the best for both prey and predator but one soon realizes how privileged and mostly lucky we are to see mother nature in its purist form.

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