Killing of three African wild dogs in the Waterberg





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  1. #1
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    Default Killing of three African wild dogs in the Waterberg

    HORRIFIC KILLING OF THREE AFRICAN WILD DOGS IN THE WATERBERG

    31st January 2014

    The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) received a report on Wednesday 29thJanuary 2014 of the alleged illegal killing of three Endangered Wild Dogs Lycaon pictus. Derek van der Merwe, Conflict Mitigation Field Officer of the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme, went to investigate the incident early on Thursday 30th January and discovered the three dead animals on the Beauty gravel road between Vaalwater and Ellisras.

    "The Wild Dogs were already in an advanced state of decomposition and we estimate that they were killed late on Monday the 27th or early in the morning on Tuesday the 28th of January. Oscar Mandlmeier, a registered medic and farmer in the area, and I retrieved genetic sampling kits from the nearby Welgevonden Nature Reserve and carried out an autopsy of the animals to determine the cause of death," said van der Merwe.

    The autopsy results showed that the Wild Dogs were run over by a vehicle and that one of the three dogs was also shot in addition to being run over. It is a strong possibility that these animals were deliberately killed.
    African Wild Dogs are protected in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (Act 10 of 2004) and the Threatened or Protected Species Regulations of 2007 (ToPS). They are categorised as an Endangered Species (EN) – Indigenous species facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, although they are not critically endangered. The activities of hunting or killing ToPS listed species require a permit from the relevant conservation authority, and where no permits have been issued for such activities, it is deemed a crime.

    Limpopo is one of the last remaining provinces in South Africa that still has free roaming Wild Dogs. This means that they were not reintroduced and did not escape from any fenced reserves, but rather they occur naturally outside of fenced reserves. Genetic testing conducted on this group of Wild Dogs has demonstrated that they are genetically distinct from the Wild Dogs in the Kruger National Park and in other smaller reserves in South Africa. This makes this group of dogs critically important in a species that is on the verge of extinction. Because Wild Dogs occupy such vast ranges (each pack can range over more than 2,000 km2) it is extremely difficult to determine the population dynamics of Wild Dogs in the Waterberg. However, recent estimates put their numbers at between 15 and 30 Wild Dogs left in the area.

    "There are just 450 Wild Dogs left in South Africa and the loss of three is significant. There are less Wild Dogs left in South Africa than the number of rhino poached in 2013 and the visible cruelty with which the animals were killed is particularly devastating in light of their low numbers," continued van der Merwe.

    Conflict between carnivores and farmers over the killing of game is a reality in the Waterberg but many farmers have chosen to implement conflict mitigation measures in partnership with the EWT such as the use of Livestock Guarding Dogs. Unfortunately, the three animals killed this week are proof that negative attitudes towards these carnivores persist. We are asking you as the public to help us to save these canines wherever there is the potential for persecution and violence. If you know or hear about any activity that will bring harm to Wild Dogs, or can shed light on who is responsible for the death of these dogs, please contact Derek van der Merwe at [email protected]. Sightings of Wild Dogs and photographs of these sightings are particularly useful so please send these to Grant Beverly at [email protected]. For further information about Wild Dogs and conflict mitigation measures that benefit farmers and carnivores please contact Derek on [email protected].

    The EWT’s Wild Dog work is supported by Investec Properties, Jaguar-Land Rover South Africa, Land Rover Centurion, Vaughan de la Harpe, GCCL2 - Richard Bosman, Painted Wolf Wines, South African National Parks Honourary Rangers and IQ Business.
    End

    Contact:
    Derek van der Merwe
    Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Officer: Carnivore Conservation Programme

    Endangered Wildlife Trust
    Tel: +27 11 372 3600
    [email protected]

    Nomonde Mxhalisa
    Communications Manager
    Endangered Wildlife Trust
    Tel: +27 11 372 3600
    [email protected]

    Physical Address: Building K2, Ardeer Road, Pinelands Office Park,
    Modderfontein 1609, Gauteng, South Africa

    Postal Address: Private Bag X 11, Modderfontein 1645, Gauteng, South Africa
    Tel: +27 (0) 11 372 3600 Fax: +27 (0) 11 608 4682 E-mail: [email protected]

    Web: www.ewt.org.za

    The Endangered Wildlife Trust is a non-profit, public benefit organisation dedicated to conserving species and ecosystems in southern Africa to the benefit of all people.

    NPO Number: 015-502, PBO number: 930 001 777,
    Member of IUCN - The International Union for Conservation of Nature
    The Endangered Wildlife Trust is US 501(c)(3) compliant under US IRS Registration number: EMP98-0586801

  2. #2
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    "There are just 450 Wild Dogs left in South Africa and the loss of three is significant. There are less Wild Dogs left in South Africa than the number of rhino poached in 2013 and the visible cruelty with which the animals were killed is particularly devastating in light of their low numbers," continued van der Merwe.


    I sometimes wonder how accurate these figures are..............although most research information claims the same results........

    Why I ask, a pack of between 15 - 25 have been noted and it is assumed that they have broken out (we think) from Marakele and is causing quite a bit of havoc with smaller antelope species on a friends farm situated between Thabazimbi and Ellisras.........

    We never saw them but according to the owner they have been spotted quite a few times during the past 8-months.

    I mean, if they are that endangered / scares shouldn't they be more controlled or watched-over then or is just impossible to do........

    Maybe we should let someone know about this then......

    Edit: Will inform Derek accordingly.........sad this and thanks for sharing Dirk.
    Last edited by Fisheagle; 2014/02/04 at 10:47 AM.

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    This is very sad, but could it not be that these dogs were hit by a vehicle accidently. The driver stopped, saw that two out of the three were killed instantly and the driver shot the third so that it didnt suffer anymore from its injuries?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    This is very sad, but could it not be that these dogs were hit by a vehicle accidently. The driver stopped, saw that two out of the three were killed instantly and the driver shot the third so that it didnt suffer anymore from its injuries?
    This makes sense to me. Sounds like the most logical possible explanation

    Either way, what a sad incident. Hopefully they were killed accidently and not with malicious intent

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    This was reported on the forum the other day - can't find the thread...

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    Also makes more sense to me that this was an accident. A very sad one, with the dogs being as endangered as they are, but I find it very odd that some angry farmer deliberatly ran them over, obviously causing some damage to his car in the process, then get out to make sure he finished the job and shot the last one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaunB View Post
    Also makes more sense to me that this was an accident. A very sad one, with the dogs being as endangered as they are, but I find it very odd that some angry farmer deliberatly ran them over, obviously causing some damage to his car in the process, then get out to make sure he finished the job and shot the last one.
    I agree 100%

    I can't see how it's possible to 'hunt' down 3 wild dogs in a car on a road. Even if you were some psycho redneck farmer with a suicidal Wile - E - Coyote type desire to take out the wild dogs because they take a couple of live stock a year, the actual chances of THAT particular person seeing them on any road and being able to actually hit them is higher than the chances of a anything coming from mars (with apologies to Jeff Wayne)

    There is no way at all that you could plan running over a dog, never mind 3 wild dogs met 'een skoot' on a road.

    Far more likely that they tragically ran in front of a car and got hit, and the one that was shot was a 'mercy killing' - doesn't seem unlikely to me that it crawled away with a broken back and the driver shot it (illegal, but hey...)

    Given the outcry, I probably also wouldn't hang around and try and maintain my innocence...

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    I have seen wild dogs in the wild on what used to be the family farm when I was still in my teens. They are wary of humans and run closely together when "threatened" instead of scattering in all directions (my experience). They are also pretty fast and change direction quickly which would make them pretty hard to run down deliberately.

    So many things other than spite or malice could have resulted in this unfortunate event. Were the dogs obscured by a dust cloud from a second vehicle when they ran over the road? Was the sun in the drivers' eyes making it difficult to see the dogs? Did it happen at night time?

    I ask these questions because:

    I have run over a Steenbok, obscured by a dust cloud on a dirt road (I grew up driving so know very well) whilst following another car at 80KM/H.
    Almost hit an impala with the sun coming from straight ahead.
    Ran over many a stray hare/ rabbit in the dark on the Alldays-Swartwater road doing far less than 120KM/H. I also hit a porcupine with the SLK somewhere in the Eastern Transvaal on a dodgy potholed road doing 80KM/H simply because it blended into the road surface with its back turned to me(no eye shine to give it away)

    Point is, accidents do happen. Wild animals are well camouflaged and often the roads' verge is thick with shrubs, long grass and other vegetation meaning you have very little time to react if something runs into the road ahead of you mere meters away.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    I have seen wild dogs in the wild on what used to be the family farm when I was still in my teens. They are wary of humans and run closely together when "threatened" instead of scattering in all directions (my experience). They are also pretty fast and change direction quickly which would make them pretty hard to run down deliberately.

    So many things other than spite or malice could have resulted in this unfortunate event. Were the dogs obscured by a dust cloud from a second vehicle when they ran over the road? Was the sun in the drivers' eyes making it difficult to see the dogs? Did it happen at night time?

    I ask these questions because:

    I have run over a Steenbok, obscured by a dust cloud on a dirt road (I grew up driving so know very well) whilst following another car at 80KM/H.
    Almost hit an impala with the sun coming from straight ahead.
    Ran over many a stray hare/ rabbit in the dark on the Alldays-Swartwater road doing far less than 120KM/H. I also hit a porcupine with the SLK somewhere in the Eastern Transvaal on a dodgy potholed road doing 80KM/H simply because it blended into the road surface with its back turned to me(no eye shine to give it away)

    Point is, accidents do happen. Wild animals are well camouflaged and often the roads' verge is thick with shrubs, long grass and other vegetation meaning you have very little time to react if something runs into the road ahead of you mere meters away.
    +1.

    I've also run over a dog - and there was no chance to stop, doing 60km/h, and I saw it half way down the driveway when I reacted.

    it was just under the wheels before I'd stopped.

    certainly a tragic accident, given the wild dogs threatened status, but I just can't see how it could possibly be deliberate or malicious.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    +1.

    I've also run over a dog - and there was no chance to stop, doing 60km/h, and I saw it half way down the driveway when I reacted.

    it was just under the wheels before I'd stopped.

    certainly a tragic accident, given the wild dogs threatened status, but I just can't see how it could possibly be deliberate or malicious.
    Agree.

    These things happen. Sad, but unfortunate.
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