Hi, my name is Mwitu! In case the beautiful ears and gorgeous coat weren’t a giveaway, I’m a Wild Dog and I’m from the Kruger National Park in South Africa, where most other Wild Dogs in SA live – local really is lekker! I recently turned a year old and I decided to do something completely different…I’m a little bit quirky like that. You see, usually in Wild Dog families, the females leave the pack after reaching maturity, and us guys tend to stick around. Not that we’re layabouts, but we like our comfort zones, our man dens, all that good stuff. But I wanted a bit of adventure and to find a way to do something meaningful with my life. You get it, right? I wanted to make a difference (and have some fun at the same time of course)!
Where to start though? It can be scary out there, with threats like cars that can knock you flying and horrible sicknesses like rabies that can lay you out seemingly around every corner, with less and less space and more and more development everywhere we look. And those are just a few of the things that make life risky for me and my family, and lots of other species out there too. Wild Dogs operate best as part of a pack, so I knew I wanted to be a part of something special. Imagine how stoked I was when I saw the ad for Endangered Wildlife Trust spokesperson…I mean, technically, I’m not a person, but let’s not sweat the small stuff, I always say. And the EWT is an organisation worth being part of because they don’t just talk about conservation, they get out there and do it!
So here I am, the official EWT spokesp…I mean, spokesdog. Obviously I’m perfect for the job, being the socialite that I am, and since I’m used to travelling great distances as part of my pack, getting around to all your mailboxes and computer screens will be a breeze for me! This way, I get to help more than just my Wild Dog family, I get to share the work that the EWT does with all the other species and habitats that need saving too…because at the end of the day, we may each be as unique as the pattern on my coat, but we’re all connected too.
Name: Mwitu (meaning wild in Swahili)
Age: One year old
Birthplace: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Family details: Seven brothers, two sisters, lots of cousins….but fewer than 450 family members left in South Africa
Spouse: Not yet!
Hobbies/interests: Long walks at dusk, playing catch with zebras, watching the Springboks and the Lions, stand-up comedy. Passionate about conservation and having a good chat!
To welcome Mwitu to the EWT pack, we’d like to reward one lucky reader with an Mwitu branded T-shirt! Answer the simple question below to stand a chance to win:
• When did the first Wild Dog census take place in the Kruger National Park?
Send your answer to BelindaG@ewt.org.za by 19 August 2016. One lucky winner will be chosen at random from the successful entrants.
This competition is not open to staff of the EWT. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct answers received by 19 August. The winner will be announced by email on 26 August 2016.