Grant Beverley of the Endangered Wildlife Trust took us to visit an African Wild Dog pack that was due for imminent release on Selati Game Reserve, near Gravelotte. This was a wonderful opportunity to see first hand what is happening with the African Wild Dog Expansion Project.

While this video focuses on the expansion project in Gorongosa, it gives a wonderful overview of the logistics of this sort of operation.

The pack we got to spend a little time with in the boma in Selati had 9 puppies and the Rise of the Matriarch crew were rather overwhelmed with the cuteness level!!

Grant is part of yet another incredibly creative and dedicated team giving all they’ve got in terms of energy and passion to ensure the survival of this unique species. What becomes very apparent learning about these different boots-on-the-ground conservation projects is how nothing works in isolation. Nature is so infinitely connected that understanding one species and focusing on its conservation will have a ripple effect throughout ecosystems. African Wild Dog are one such example. Their natural ranges are enormous. By opening up protected wild space for them, everything else in that space benefits from similar protection. This is what is meant by an umbrella species.

The challenge, of course, is that the fact they are endangered in the first place by the human demand for space. We have encroached and we have swallowed up vital wild spaces that no longer allow African Wild Dog packs to roam as they are naturally inclined to do. The more we understand their needs and the more we are open to rethinking our needs, perhaps there is hope for less human-wildlife conflict and more coexistence.

As Cole says in the video clip and Grant mentioned to the ROTM crew in person, this sort of work is so expensive. If something here speaks to you about the plight of Africa’s Painted Wolves, please donate. Or if you love wine, here’s a great way to contribute 🖤