17 May 2022

New Wild dog Pack for Mabula Private Game Reserve


Mabula Private Game Reserve is proud to announce the exciting new wild dog introduction on the reserve. The recent arrival of two male wild dogs in 2021 resulted in great excitement from the Mabula team.

A newly formed pack of 4 African wild dogs was released from their temporary holding boma onto the Mabula Private Game Reserve in the southern part of the Waterberg, Limpopo on Tuesday, May 10th. The two males and two females will form the second-known breeding pack of African wild dogs in the Waterberg.

The males naturally dispersed from their resident pack in northern Limpopo in early 2021 in search of females. They travelled 330km before arriving on Mabula in July 2021. With no suitable adult females available in South Africa’s wild dog metapopulation, two females in the free-roaming Waterberg Wild Dog population were identified for translocation. The two females were translocated just prior to their dispersal from their natal pack in the northern part of the Waterberg in March 2022 to Mabula to be bonded with the males.

The four dogs spent several weeks in adjacent holding bomas to facilitate social bonding and allow time for the new pack to acclimate to the area before their release onto the reserve. The bonding was extremely successful, and the dogs are now roaming the reserve as a cohesive pack.

With fewer than 650 African wild dogs remaining in South Africa, this translocation and formation of a new breeding pack contributes towards the long-term conservation of African wild dogs in South Africa. It also boosts the Mabula Private Game Reserve’s ecotourism potential, as Mabula will become the closest reserve to Gauteng with free-ranging African wild dogs!

This new pack formation was conducted in collaboration with the Mabula Private Game Reserve, the Waterberg Wild Dog Initiative, the Endangered Wildlife Trust, and Rooiberg Veterinary Services.

Wouter Pienaar, General Manager Operations of Extraordinary who are the management and operating company of Mabula Game Lodge was interviewed and expressed his delight with the outcome of this important collaboration. The addition of the Wild dog pack to the area bodes well for the future of tourism in this reserve.

The Mabula Private Game Reserve is located within two hours of Gauteng and provides one of the most authentic private safari experiences in close proximity to Gauteng

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