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Archive 2013 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee
  
 
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


A story has been unfolding in Botswana for the last five years or so. One of the great pack hunters on the planet has survived as a lone predator but with a twist. Wild dogs are the most successful hunters in Africa with a success rate of 90%. Running their prey to exhaustion they will take antelope much much larger than themselves and devour it in about 30 minutes. Kills are shared amongst a pack and food brought back to the den and regurgitated for the pups. But what happens when the predator is a single wild dog? On Chief's Island there is such a lone wild dog. For the last five years thiis solitary female dog has been living and hunting in the company of 2 families of jackals. It will hunt with one of the jackals trailing it in part as a lookout and protector. Once a kill is made the two share the kill and furthermore the wild dog will return to the jackal den and regurgitate food for the jackals pups. Why this is happened is unknown. Wild dog packs have come and gone through the area and the lone dog does not seem to want to join one. Interestingly, it tried to make a similar coalition with hyenas but the hyenas were only interested in stealing the kill so that didn't work out and that plan abandoned. So whether it is the company the jackals provide or something else entirely we probably will never know.
Interestingly, until we were there in November it was thought this dog hunted with one jackal family but we discovered it set up the same arrangement with two different ones. Remarkable behavior to say the least..
We were fortunate to be able to spend a late afternoon with the wild dog as it set out to secure a meal. A chase ensued through dense bush and it was a thrilling challenge to keep up with it. And while the hunt was ultimately unsuccessful just being a part of this experience was very special. While I didn't really need to see a kill, I was a bit disappointed not to see one as my interest was really in the aftermath...the dog returning and feeding another caneid species that had broken off from the family tree long ago.
The photos, I hope, tell a story and are not presetned as great photography although some are I think pretty good. Many were taken on the fly, in a vehicle bumping along at 15-20mph as we traipsed through the bush. The video my wife took was wonderful but may require dramamine to watch
If you have read this whole story you have permission to skip the photos, take a couple of Advil for the headache and go back to your regularly scheduled program.
There will one more shorter set coming up from another encounter on our last morning...no hunting but nice morning light.
Eric

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Feb 10, 2013 at 12:55 PM
morris
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


3, 6, 10, 27 and 28 are my picks from this informative and Conradesc post Eric.

Morris



Feb 10, 2013 at 01:22 PM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Incredible story. I hadn't heard this one. I love the painted dog!! That's one reason I love Botswana. My only thought on this comes from an experience I had on my last visit. A pack of 3 dogs, 2 dogs with a pregnant female encountered a larger pack. A horrible fight ensued. The male dogs got away but the female was torn up and left to die; her uterus removed. Gruesome but true. So the dog you show may have been an alpha female and can't safely join another pack, so she is left to fend for herself. Her mothering instincts make her want to feed young, thus the pairing with the jackals.
It's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Great sequence of shots. Don



Feb 10, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Howard Kearley
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Very interesting post, yes I read it all!
Sweet photos too

Howard



Feb 10, 2013 at 02:24 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Interesting story, Eric, that your pics made more so
Socrate



Feb 10, 2013 at 03:34 PM
birdied
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


1,3,8,18,21,22,27 are my favorites of this wonderful set. Wonderful narrative ,very interesting . Makes you wonder about the events that led to her life now. Maybe we don't pick our groups , they pick us.

Oh Eric don't post so many great shots at a time . I can't remember all the numbers as I scroll down

Birdie



Feb 10, 2013 at 03:43 PM
KCollett
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


A very interesting story Eric. Some wonderful pics to go along with it. Cool stuff.


Feb 10, 2013 at 03:50 PM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Interesting post, Eric.
I completely got lost in picking favorites but I like a lot of them.
Chris



Feb 10, 2013 at 04:49 PM
thedutt
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Remarkable story and great photos. Thanks for taking the time to write it down and share with me.



Feb 10, 2013 at 06:55 PM
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Interesting story, Eric, although it would have been better with 29 images instead of 28.

I expect this happens often with many loners hooking up with other species in order to survive.

Reminds me of a Nature program I saw recently; Clash: Encounters of Bears and Wolves. A particular grizzly in Yellowstone has learned that he does not need to hibernate if he can find a wolf kill that he can use for winter snacks.

You can read the dialogue here: http://www.livedash.com/transcript/nature-(clash__encounters_of_bears_and_wolves)/918/KQED/Sunday_January_17_2010/169087/

Read from 49:24 to 51:50

Tony



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:22 PM
 

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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Read the story in full and then went on to enjoy the photos. Thanks Eric, great work all round
David



Feb 10, 2013 at 07:45 PM
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


morris wrote:
3, 6, 10, 27 and 28 are my picks from this informative and Conradesc post Eric.

Morris

Thanks Morris...sometimes you need lots of chapters to tell a story.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:20 PM
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


DonGut wrote:
Incredible story. I hadn't heard this one. I love the painted dog!! That's one reason I love Botswana. My only thought on this comes from an experience I had on my last visit. A pack of 3 dogs, 2 dogs with a pregnant female encountered a larger pack. A horrible fight ensued. The male dogs got away but the female was torn up and left to die; her uterus removed. Gruesome but true. So the dog you show may have been an alpha female and can't safely join another pack, so she is left to fend for herself. Her mothering
...Show more
Your explanation is as good as any and you may stick by it until proven otherwise. It is one of natures mysteries that is open for all types of speculative theories. Glad you enjoyed the show.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:22 PM
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Howard Kearley wrote:
Very interesting post, yes I read it all!
Sweet photos too

Howard

I get a bit long winded both in prose and photo posting every now and then...actually most times
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:23 PM
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Shasoc wrote:
Interesting story, Eric, that your pics made more so
Socrate

Thanks Socrate....fortunately since a picture tells 1000 words I could cut my prose a bit shorter
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:24 PM
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


birdied wrote:
1,3,8,18,21,22,27 are my favorites of this wonderful set. Wonderful narrative ,very interesting . Makes you wonder about the events that led to her life now. Maybe we don't pick our groups , they pick us.

Oh Eric don't post so many great shots at a time . I can't remember all the numbers as I scroll down

Birdie

Glad you liked the post and thanks for all those pix picks. Yup, it would be really interesting to get the real true Hollywood background story on this one.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:25 PM
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


KCollett wrote:
A very interesting story Eric. Some wonderful pics to go along with it. Cool stuff.

Thanks Kenny...this is a reality series that would have been difficult to script.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:26 PM
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


CDaescher wrote:
Interesting post, Eric.
I completely got lost in picking favorites but I like a lot of them.
Chris

Hey Chris, glad you liked the post and no worries about not picking...this one was more a story and less about the quality of photography.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:28 PM
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


thedutt wrote:
Remarkable story and great photos. Thanks for taking the time to write it down and share with me.

Much appreciated and thanks for recognizing the work it takes to do something like this.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:30 PM
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · An unlikely alliance...long post bring your coffee


Imagemaster wrote:
Interesting story, Eric, although it would have been better with 29 images instead of 28.

I expect this happens often with many loners hooking up with other species in order to survive.

Reminds me of a Nature program I saw recently; Clash: Encounters of Bears and Wolves. A particular grizzly in Yellowstone has learned that he does not need to hibernate if he can find a wolf kill that he can use for winter snacks.

You can read the dialogue here: http://www.livedash.com/transcript/nature-(clash__encounters_of_bears_and_wolves)/918/KQED/Sunday_January_17_2010/169087/

Read from 49:24 to 51:50

Tony

I know I have another one stashed somewhere Tony...I will find and post it as an epilogue to the story. The difference here is that this arrangement truly benefits both species...the wild dog has companionship, another set of eyes and a bit of protection...the jackals get fresh meat and do not have to scavenge from larger cats that are often ill tempered and aggressive towards those that want a free meal.
Eric



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:32 PM
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