Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Laikipia Wilddogs


Something our of a Wilbur Smith novel - the Laikipia landscape at sunrise. 
And again we visited the Laikipia wilddogs. As you know, wilddogs are one of our favorites (just look at our logo!) because of the fact that they are always doings something and offers some of the most action packed photographic safaris. Disaster struck last years litter when the alpha female died at the time the puppies were still in the den. This is indeed very sad as each litter of these endangered animals is a valuable contribution to the dwindling population numbers. But they bounced back this year in a very unusual way. Wilddogs are known for the fact that only the alpha male and female pair breeds. The others on the pack, all being closely related aunts, uncles or siblings from earlier litters, all contribute to raise the genetically close puppies. Ever heard of Blood is thicker than water? Anyway, this year we not only saw puppies but remarkably, two females gave birth 6 weeks apart. this very unusual event produced great behavioral viewing, especially with the pups interacting amongst one another, always leaving the younger ones as bully victims. Below a selection of images from our safari.

On the ground getting eye level images of the inquisitive pups. 

And here is the result. 

One of the younger pup of the group. 

Three playful pups coming towards us. Remarkable to think that images like this is quite standard for Laikipia Wilderness. 
First light and the dogs are scanning the area for prey.

Mount Kenya as silent witness to this timeless scene. A babysitter always remains with the pups. The demanding pups had not even finished their meal when the adults return to the hunt. You can see one dog disappearing into the distance in the top, right corner of the image. 

This was the best kill scene I ever photographed. Close-up views of two age-groups of pups on an impala kill. 

Happy photographers with the beautiful Laikipia landscape in the background. No they were not paid to smile in the photo. 

Photographers in action. The great open vehicles of Laikipia Wilderness offers a wide selection of photographic angles. 


video

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