Posted By Animals on World Posted On

You Will Never Be Disappointed When The Hounds Join Forces To Attack Their Prey.

If you’ve ever seen a pack of wild dogs chasing their prey, you know why these dalmatians are among Africa’s most successful predators. And those hunts were on full display recently when a pack set its sights on a wildebeest in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve.

Rodney Steyn, owner of a nearby guest house, was watching the scouts from a watchtower when he noticed dogs trying to separate a young wildebeest from its mother.

The young animal’s instinct is to head for the waterhole and hope for safety. It took a leap to the deepest point and the dogs immediately surrounded the waterhole. Steyn’s elevated position means he can watch the entire hunt as it unfolds below, giving him a naked eye view of the pack dynamics.

Wild dog hunts have an impressive success rate, and much of that depends on the coordination of the whole pack. Thanks to their complex vocalizations and close social ties, carnivores can reach a level of cooperative hunting that cannot be matched by larger predators such as lions.

In the group, each member is built for endurance hunting – from keen senses and toned muscles to strong jaws and teeth specialized for cutting and crushing bones. Surrounded by water and herds, the wildebeest young have no chance to escape. A few dogs ventured into the water and the dog whirled around repeatedly trying to confront his attackers. At one point they started swimming towards it from all sides, eventually pulling it out of the way.

Wild dog hunts are notorious for their aggression – and often extremely difficult to track – but this successful kill is an encouraging sign of the health of the Madikwe people. Once widespread across the continent, the species has declined at an alarming rate, with only about 5,000 critically endangered carnivores remaining in the wild, with only 450 surviving in South Africa. That makes Madiwke’s healthy population so important.

What makes this event so remarkable is being able to watch the entire episode in progress and the sheer determination of the feral dogs. It’s incredibly emotional and stressful because you feel powerless for the victim yet justify a meal for the predator.