Zululand’s Remarkable Painted Puppies Reared By Pack Males!

Zululand’s Remarkable Painted Puppies Reared By Pack Males!

Posted by Georgia Wilson on 12th Oct 2021

The Zululand Wildlife Conservation Project had unusual yet heartening news to share with us last week. The Mbulunga wild dog pack, introduced to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park last year, have had an unconventional yet successful denning season. Two puppies, estimated to be three months old, have been seen travelling with the adults more frequently, which is typical for their age range...

Painted Pups of Zululand Raised By Males

What is not so typical is that the puppies are being reared solely by male pack members. Sadly, their mother, the alpha female (and only remaining female of the pack), died of natural causes a short few weeks after their birth. Remarkably, the five remaining males’ paternal instincts kicked in, and they have banded together to raise the two pups.

Zululand Pack Puppies

The puppies at this age would usually receive milk from their mother to supplement their diet, but for the past two months, they have been fed entirely on regurgitated meat from the males! The puppies are slightly smaller than usual for their age but look in great shape and will soon join the pack when they head out to hunt.

Zululand Hluwluwe Wild Dog Pack

Whilst this is not the first time a pack consisting only of male members have reared puppies, it is a rare occurrence and an impressive feat! We hope to receive further updates from species monitor Kaeleah Andrew on the adorable pair and their dedicated pack in the upcoming months. A huge thank you to volunteer Patrick Rüegg for capturing the beautiful photos seen in this blog.


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