EXCLUSIVE: Spine-chilling tenacity in rare wild dogs vs cheetahs sighting

2017-04-24 06:53 - Selene Brophy
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Cape Town - This video shared by Latest Sightings is in a word marvelous. It captures two very different types of animals, not often seen during the day or so brazenly on display during a kill.

For Grant Fendick, a 38-year-old business owner, 15 fruitless years of visiting the Pilanesberg without ever seeing a wild dog, has culminated into something quite extraordinary. Pilanesberg Game Reserve is situated in the  North West Province about three-hours outside of Johannesburg.  

Fendick says he was driving along Black Rhino Concession in the Pilanesberg during a visit in March, when he came across this truly once in a lifetime sighting.

Fendick shared the video with LatestSightings.com, describing the scene in an interview with the wildlife App saying, “We had come across three cheetah brothers that had just killed a wildebeest. We were enjoying this incredible sighting since cheetahs are an extremely rare sighting in the Pilaneserg. We noticed how the cheetahs seemed very skittish and nervous, they had obviously sensed something was out of place.

SEE: WATCH: SA photographer taps into the secret life of wildlife

That's when this sighting went from rather rare to super incredible. Fendick says the group excitedly caught a glimpse of an approaching pack of wild dogs.

To add context to how special the sighting is, consider that research indicates there are fewer than 10 000 cheetahs in the wild. The species is listed by CITES as endangered under Appendix 1. In South Africa the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) estimates there to be about 700 free-roaming and 600 in breeding or petting facilities. 

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Less than 450 African Wild Dogs left in SA

For the painted, African wild dog the numbers are even more alarming. In 2016, data indicated that in South Africa there are less than 450 wild dogs left.

'Haunting sounds, spine-chilling and brutal'

Fendick says, "They started to approach from the right-hand side, we couldn't believe it. The dogs had noticed the three cheetahs on the kill and knew that this was an easy opportunity to get a free meal. The wild dogs started to intimidate the cheetahs and, after a while, successfully chased the cheetahs away and finished off the kill in their seemingly brutal way.

WATCH: Wild Dogs vs Cheetahs  

SEE: Kruger sighting: Best five stays with great wildlife

"It was incredible to witness such an event. The power of the wild dogs taunting the cheetahs and the noises that the dogs were making were so overpowering and haunting, everything was spine chilling," says  Fendick.

"We were so blessed to be at this sighting. It was life changing. It had taken us 15 years to see the wild dogs in Pilanesberg,"says Fendick. 

ALSO SEE: Self-drives made easy: Kruger e-guide helps you spot more wildlife


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