Sure Travel supports African Wild Dogs
We’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the Sure Travel family… our African Wild Dog, Bala. Sure Travel has officially adopted him through Wildlife ACT Fund. We’ve sponsored his satellite tracking collar which makes tracking and monitoring his pack much easier and provides crucial information for the conservation of this endangered species.
Some of you may remember Ian, Sure Travel’s first adopted African Wild Dog. Ian was the alpha male of the Crossroads pack of African Wild Dogs that live in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. Sadly our precious Ian died last year from internal injuries, most likely sustained during hunting. His brother Bala took over as alpha male and leader of the pack and has been fitted with the Sure Travel sponsored collar.
|Rest in peace Ian.|
Why support African Wild Dogs?
Sure Travel chose to support African Wild Dogs instead of more popular but no less worthy animal conservation causes, simply because these carnivores are at equal risk as South Africa’s endangered rhino and cheetah populations, yet they don’t get the same level of media attention and funding.
There are only an estimated 400 African Wild Dogs left in South Africa. They are the world’s second largest endangered canine.
|African Wild/Painted Dog distribution in South Africa|
How does the satellite collar make a difference?
African Wild Dog conservation is notoriously tricky. They hunt and roam over huge distances and this pack’s home range extends into thick hilly terrain, resulting in them “disappearing” for weeks on end.
The collar helps Wildlife ACT:
• Keep track of the pack
• Make sure they’re all safe - there is a constant threat that they could get caught in poaching snares, escape the park and catch diseases from domestic dogs or get killed by farmers.
• Provides conservationists with important information on African Wild Dog preferences and behaviour.
|Ian getting fitted with his Sure Travel sponsored satellite tracking collar - 2013.|
|Ian after getting his collar fitted - 2013.|
|The Crossroads Pack adults - January 2015. Photo credit: Cathy Hue|
Bala & the Crossroads Pack
“Bala continues to wow us with his caring nature and parental skills” says Wildlife ACT Monitor, Kelsey Hattingh. Bala saw the pack (6 adults and 10 puppies; no mean feat) safely into the New Year.
“Although strong, Bala is a gentle and doting father to his offspring - what a wonderful combination!” says Kelsey.
There is also a strong bond between Bala and Fossey (the Alpha female) which hints that they should start mating soon.
“Without the aid of tracking equipment not only would we be unable to understand their behaviour on this level, but we would also be limited in our ability to ensure their survival for future generations” says Kelsey.
|Bala (right) - you can see his collar - being groomed by his daughter Nymeria (2015). Photo credit: Cathy Hue|
|The young Crossroads Pack puppies|
For more about the Wildlife ACT Fund & how you can help, click here.
Wildlife ACT runs critical endangered and priority conservation projects and real conservation volunteer projects in South Africa.
Wildlife ACT welcomes volunteers! Read what it’s like volunteering with Wildlife ACT.
Photo credits: Wildlife ACT
In memory of Ian:
|Run free and happy boy. Love Sure Travel|