Following the recent outbreak of Canine Distemper Virus which lead to the demise of the “Lower Sabie Pack”, a Wild Dog disease survey and vaccination project in the Kruger National Park (KNP) was launched. The Endangered Wildlife Trust has assisted SANParks and State Veterinarians with locating and identifying suitable packs to fit with GPS tracking collars. This will allow us to monitor pack movements, test for various diseases and vaccinate. Follow up vaccinations are also required after the initial vaccination to boost immunity against Canine Distemper and rabies.
The first four individuals from the “Toulon Pack” which was denning in close proximity to the “Lower Sabie Pack” were initially vaccinated in July and an adult male was fitted with a GPS collar. A second pack has also subsequently been darted, vaccinated and fitted with a GPS tracking collar as part of this ongoing project. This is a new pack which formed after females from the “Orpen Pack” dispersed and joined a dispersal group of males from the “Berg n Dal Pack”. The pack is doing well and is raising a litter of five new pups which is a welcome boost to the Wild Dog population in the KNP!
Canine Distemper Virus sadly also struck in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in July this year, and lead to the demise of all 12 Wild Dogs in the “Crossroads Pack”. Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the EWT, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and WildlifeACT, one member of the “Dela’s Pack” in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park has since been fitted with a GPS tracking collar. This enabled the team to so far vaccinate four of the six members of this pack over a two-week period. Blood samples were also taken to determine baseline levels of exposure to CDV and for genetics and TB research purposes. The remaining two adults will be vaccinated shortly while the entire pack will continue to be monitored and will receive booster vaccinations in a year’s time.
We are truly grateful to those individuals and organisations who have already heeded our call for assistance and donated towards enabling the EWT to undertake this work. Your support has made a real difference to our efforts to protect these special animals against preventable diseases. The work is however ongoing and booster vaccinations are required. Should you wish to support the vaccination of our Wild Dogs, you can make a donation by visiting https://www.givengain.com/cgi-bin/giga.cgi?cmd=donate&cause_id=2347 and using the reference “Wild Dogs”. Your generous donation will help to ensure that our staff remain active in the field, monitoring and protecting our precious Wild Dogs by vaccinating them against preventable illnesses like rabies and distemper, and making sure we don’t lose any more of these incredible Endangered animals.