After much anticipation and having tested the patience of videographer Daviid Swanepoel to the limit, reward eventually came on 23 July 2018!
During the preceding days, when all was very quiet, some faint puppylike sounds were the only indications that the denning could have been successful. Living proof emerged from the den in the late afternoons sun in the form of 4 little brave hearts that ventured out first. Unsure of what the world outside of the safety of the den could hold, they did not venture to far from the ever present alpha female, but curiosity got the better of one pup who could not resist the temptation of inspection of the camera lens. It was only during the following day that the female emerged, displaying the full size of the litter….9 in total! Shyness quickly made way to playfulness and as they became more accustomed to the fresh air and sunlight outside of the den, they paraded around and even enjoyed some of mother’s milk in front of the camera.
The first hurdle in the journey of conserving this specific gene pool of the Waterberg Wild Dogs has been cleared successfully. Although a long and challenging road of co-existence with various land owners, natural challenges, diseases and competitors still lies ahead, for now the excitement and the wonder reminds of the true words: “a journey begins with one small step”.
Maybe we can learn from nature in this challenging endeavour of co-existence, that we should first gather relevant information that could be passed on as knowledge, and then learn not to rush and make harsh decisions, but to take one small step at a time, fitting back the puzzle pieces making up the beautiful picture of a harmonious creation.
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