The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) in collaboration with its partners, released a pack of five African Wild Dogs onto Somkhanda Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday 29 November 2014. Northern KZN is a Wild Dog conservation stronghold. The pack comprised two males originating from Zimanga Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal and three females from Madikwe Game Reserve in North West Province.

The Wild Dogs had been temporarily held in the predator boma at Somkhanda since the 12th of August 2014 to allow them to bond into a pack and become habituated to the area. Somkhanda Game Reserve is currently the 9th reserve to reintroduce Wild Dogs in South Africa.

David Marneweck, the EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme Field Officer  reported: “All five Wild Dogs are doing well and have been seen hunting and moving through their new home as a united pack”. He continued, “This is a great day for Wild Dog conservation in South Africa as we attempt to re-establish populations of this endangered species. With consistently less than 450 Wild Dogs in South Africa, it is crucial to form new packs and introduce them onto new reserves to increase the number of functional packs, expand the range of Wild Dogs and promote their status.”

This project has been the result of huge collaboration of several organisations including Wildlands Conservation Trust, WildlifeACT, UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve, Madikwe Private Game Reserve and Zimanga Private Game Reserve under the umbrellas of the national Wild Dog Advisory Group of South Africa and the KZN Wild Dog Advisory Group.

The EWT KZN Wild Dog Project is supported by: Land Rover South Africa, Land Rover Centurion, GCCL2, Painted Wolf Wines, Knowsely Safari Park & Vaughan de la Harpe.