Meeting African Wild Dogs

It was Friday, the last working day of the week. As I ate breakfast, I was thrilled to discover that I had two very exciting activities lined up for the day. The first of which was patrolling the enclosures of some of the key animals in the reserve: the African Wild Dogs and Lucky, the three-legged cheetah. The purpose of the patrols was to check the fencing was all in order and to check that the voltage on the electric fences is high enough.

It was a long, tiring walk that took several hours but it was exciting, all the same. It was great to see African wild dogs. African wild dogs are incredibly endangered with around 5,000 left in the wild. They are pack animals and formidable hunters, succeeding in around 80% off hunts.

These particular wild dogs were rescued from an early age and so can never live a life truly in the wild.

After patrolling the wild dog enclosure, we trekked to Lucky the cheetah's enclosure. Lucky was found with a wounded hind leg which had to be amputated. She's called Lucky because her life was saved and she is now back on her feet and bursting with spirit.

As we passed her enclosure, she appeared out of the undergrowth, bounding on her three legs. She peeled her lips back in a defiant snarl, letting out a hiss to show who was boss. She's still wild at heart.

There was an exercise machine in her enclosure. It was a long metal strip that you could attach a toy or potentially even food to and it raced up and down, making Lucky run after it. We didn't see this in action.

After we had patrolled Lucky's enclosure, we headed back to base for some lunch before our second activity of the day.

Lucky the three-legged cheetah