African wild dogs are always popular on safaris and we humans love to watch the interaction between pack members as they rear their young and hunt prey. The adults even regurgitate food for the young pack members to eat. The co-operation between the dogs is fascinating! But some lucky rangers at the MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa captured a unique hunting situation in February 2022.
The footage shows an encounter between a pack of adult African wild dogs and three klipspringers. Usually, the incredible speed of antelopes allows them to outrun many packs of wild dogs but these guys had found themselves in a tricky situation! They were cornered on the edge of the cliff with the dog pack surrounding them on all sides.
At the beginning of the footage, it looks as if the klipspringers stand no chance and that we are about to witness a blood bath. But as the story unfolds, we find that this is far from the case.
Watch As Wild Dogs Chase Antelope to the Edge
The sure-footed klipspringers are highly adept at balancing on steep rocks. Their name means “rock jumper” in Afrikaans and it is easy to see why. As the dogs leap around at the bottom of the rock the klipspringers look down at them with disdain. Meanwhile, some of the other pack members have positioned themselves above the antelope but find that their paws slide on the rocks and they cannot get any traction to mount an attack.
The klipspringers use their petite hooves to balance confidently at the edge of the cliff and watch the struggling dogs. In total, there were 21 wild dogs and they had been on the reserve for a week, hunting around the Mlowathi River. It appears that the younger dogs were attempting to get at the klipspringers whereas the older and more experienced pack members were aware that it was pointless and simply watched.
Perhaps these clever antelope were aware that they had the upper hand? Perhaps they had evaded a pack of dogs by doing the same thing before? Whichever is true, you can’t help but admire the determination and nerve of both species. The klipspringers resist the temptation to leap off the cliff and make a run for it which could have resulted in injury and would have put them directly in the path of the wild dogs waiting below. At the same time, most wild dogs would not be willing to try to cross steep and slippery rocks but this pack was willing to give it a go!
So, how does this end? After a lengthy stand-off, the wild dogs give up and wander away to look for alternative prey. When the coast is clear the lucky little antelope also gets down from the rocks and lives to spend another day on this stunning reserve.
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