Sure Travel supports African Wild Dogs



Sure Travel supports African Wild Dogs
Sure Travel proudly supports African Wild Dog conservation through the Wildlife ACT Fund. We sponsor a satellite tracking collar used to monitor African Wild Dogs in the Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, which provides crucial information for the conservation of this endangered species.

Some of you may remember Bala, alpha male and leader of the Crossroads Pack. Bala was fitted with the Sure Travel sponsored collar after his brother, Ian, passed away. Sadly, Bala and his pack died after contracting Canine Distemper Virus in 2016. The virus is usually carried and spread into carnivores via domestic dogs, and once in the system, can be devastating. Once a wild dog contracts the virus and starts showing symptoms, there is no cure. A vaccination program is now underway in the Park to prevent any further deaths.

The death of this pack of 12 wild dogs reduced the number of wild dog packs in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park to six and the total number of wild dogs in the Park to 57.

African wild dogs are the most endangered carnivore in South Africa and this devastating loss emphasises the importance of continued support and conservation of African Wild Dogs. 

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
What is Wildlife ACT?
The Wildlife ACT Fund is group of passionate and dedicated on-the-ground conservationists, who are on a mission to save South Africa's threatened and endangered wildlife species such as the African Wild Dog, Cheetah and Black Rhino. 

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

2 comments:

Thank you Anonymous. We're just trying to do our bit!

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