Today I’ll be participating in N/a’ankuse Lodge and Wildlife Sanctuary’s “Corporate Eco-Challenge” to help raise money for their efforts to advocate on behalf of Africa’s dwindling wild dog population. African wild dogs, also known as “painted dogs“, are the second most endangered carnivore on the African continent, after the Ethiopian wolf. Estimates of the remaining population range from 500 to 600; considering they once hunted in packs of up to 100, this is not a whole lot.
In the competition, ten teams of three will be blindfolded and dropped off somewhere on the 10,000 hectare game reserve, and they’ll need to navigate their way back to the lodge as quickly as possible. Along the way, we’ll be asked to accomplish tasks and collect items. I’m thinking this is going to be kind of like “Amazing Race” but I’m not entirely sure. Oh, and it will go well into after-dark hours. Friends and family will be able to track our progress using GPS markers from the lodge itself. So wish us luck!
Here are a couple of videos that may be of interest. The first is from N/a’ankuse itself, footage of their wild dogs (rescued from a conflict situation with humans) being fed. The second is a video I found on the ‘Tube that shows wild dogs hunting – kind of why they got their bad rap. Warning! It’s graphic. But you know, a dog’s gotta eat… African dogs are among the most effective hunters there are – they will take down about 70-85% of the prey they set their sights on.