The ‘painted wolves’ of Zimbabwe

The ‘painted wolves’ of Zimbabwe

 

Nick Dyer images …

They are stunning; there’s no question. And the name, “painted wolves”, seems so apt.

Their dappled tan and black fur, shot through with flashes of white, dazzles in the sunlight.You’re going to become very familiar with these creatures; you may even fall in love with them, because they will feature in David Attenborough’s new blockbuster TV series, Dynasties.

The BBC spent months filming the endangered African wild dogs of Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe, and wildlife photographer Nick Dyer says viewers will be enthralled by the result.

The former London fund manager and marketing executive now dedicates his time and his camera to promoting the animals’ conservation, walking with three packs as they roam the floodplain of the Zambezi River.

“During the day, they’re mostly asleep but when they wake up, they leap and dance with absolute joy,” he tells me. “They have this great social bonding thing we call a greeting ceremony. They’re so full of play, especially with their pups, so they’re always chasing and pulling each other’s tails, which is really great fun to watch.”

The first thing you need to know about painted wolves is that they’re not wolves, nor, as their more boring name suggests, are they dogs.

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Zimparks guns down hippo in Nyanyadzi

August 31, 2017August 31, 2017
Inset from Zimpapers. THE Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority last week shot dead a hippopotamus that was damaging winter wheat in Nyanyadzi. The hippo, which had a calf, is believed to have escaped from Save Conservancy. ZPWMA ordered the shooting of the hippos after traditional leaders in the area reported that it was damaging crops and endangering lives. ZPWMA officer, Mr John Danfa, said they were still hunting for the calf which is believed to have found habitat along Save River. “Usually hippos move up and down rivers during the rainy season. We believe the two escaped from Save Valley Conservancy. They were both females and they do not usually click if there is no male. “They are believed to have separated. We received reports from traditional leaders in Hot Springs and Nyanyadzi that these hippos were feeding on wheat and crops in their fields.” “People’s lives were endangered so the authorities ordered its killing. The first time we attempted to kill it, it was in the company of so many cattle and could not do anything. Our officer teamed up with villagers to track it until last week when it was shot down in Nyanyadzi”. The officer is said to have fired 12 shots before the hippo died. The meat was shared by villagers. One of the villagers in Dirikwe village, Mr Tapiwa Munyati, said: “This hippo was becoming a threat to human lives in the area. It was being spotted near homes at night. “There are vegetable gardens along one of Save River’s tributaries where it was being spotted.“We were told that hippos do not like light and the danger was that lives would have been lost.” “A villager survived death by a whisker recently when the hippo strayed into his homestead.“He went out of his house to investigate when his dogs were barking. He had a torch and the hippo advanced towards him. “Fortunately he managed to escape the attack and notified other villagers and the village head. We are appealing to the responsible authorities to make sure that the remaining one is also killed,” said Mr Munyati.