Deon de Villiers witnesses an extraordinary dog fight not far from Mombo Camp…
Every day at Mombo delivers something special – you just need to find it. Heading out in the opposite direction to most vehicles we ended up far west of the camp on floodplains not explored for many months as only now has the water been low enough to allow access. We were blessed with amazing sights of elephant with big blue sky backdrops, and giraffe under un-manicured trees stretching for miles into the distance. Our drive was all about scenery and serenity until we wandered into an explosive sighting of two African wild dogs threatening a life-and-death situation.
Two males who had most likely broken from their packs must have met on neutral ground and now felt the canid need to decide who should the lead role. Knowing that they would have better chances if they stayed together, the fight was grand but should not lead to death. Well that’s what I thought until one dog clearly had the upper hand and went in for a full blown throat bite; which is normally a killing posture of most predators.
Shutters clicking away I alerted the photographers on the vehicle that this was not going to be a pleasant sight. I prepared them for one of Africa’s toughest moments; a predator taking the life of another; especially when you know there are only a few thousand individuals remaining and they feature high on the global endangered species list.
With the sun dropping behind the tree line our photography slowed down immensely, and luckily so did the panting animals. It seemed a fraction of a second that they went from fighting into hunting mode – and almost as soon as they appeared they were on their way again. By now the sun was long gone, and camp was awaiting our arrival home.
Mombo always delivers something special!