Wild dogs always have a soft spot in Africans' hearts, but seeing a whole pack snugly sleeping together on a plane might just break your heart.
Aviation company The Bateleurs and the Endangered Wildlife Trust undertook a translocation mission last week that saw 15 wild dogs transported from the Kalahari to Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park. The organisation provides free-of-charge aerial services to conservation organisations with the use of volunteer pilots.
SEE LAST YEAR'S RELOCATION: Gorongosa National Park sees return of nature's charismatic African Wild Dog
Last year, Gorongosa received its first pack of wild dogs as part of its rewilding project, and since then 18 pups have been born and raised in the park. This second relocation is phase two of the Endangered Wildlife Trust's project, which is helping the park recover from decades of civil war that wiped out animal populations.
"This will not only boost the growing population and contribute to new genetics in the system, it will support ecological functioning in the abundance of safe space that Gorongosa offers," said the trust in a Facebook post.
PICS: Battle between a cheetah and wild dogs from KZN made it onto the shortlist for Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Zelda de Keijzer from The Bateleurs told Daily Mail how important the project is in the Mozambican park.
"Wildlife is now thriving in Gorongosa, with numbers of species and animals having made a strong comeback. With the abundance of herbivores, the natural next step is the return of large carnivores."
"Wild dogs are one of the continent's most at-risk carnivores, and are listed by the IUCN as Endangered."
All 14 of the animals landed safe and sound in their new home, seen happily devouring a meal after their long flight.
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