“Run little Duiker run!”
I yelled to myself. The yelping dogs were too far down the hill for me to do anything. Someone was hunting wildlife with dogs.
Once before I’d been able to intervene. A little buck came running passed the Landy in our camp. “That’s odd!” I thought. Then two dogs I’d never seen before in pursuit. I ran towards them yelling. They turned and ran. At least for a few yards. Hopefully this gave the duiker enough time to get away.
Today however, things didn’t turn out well. On returning from our morning walk I caught sight of a man running. He darted into the bush. Three dogs at his heels. Then he emerged with a big grin on his face. From his raised right hand dangled a large hare with his belly ripped open.
“Oh no!” How awfully tragic!
The vile practice of hunting wildlife with dogs
On return to camp with my emotions reeling I reached out to Marnus with Walking For Lions. Marnus deals with many such issues in his work to stop the killing of wildlife. What I learned from him saddened me even more.
“It happens so often all over Africa as people become lazy and dogs become expendable.” Supposedly professional or trained dogs are used to hunt all kinds of wildlife. Even professional hunters at times use dogs to flush out leopards! Nowadays most of the villages (especially around game reserves) have dogs to poach small buck and hares.
According to Marnus, it’s gotten so bad in some places along the border of the Kruger towards Phalaborwa that farmers kill any trespassing dogs. They hang the dogs in trees along their property perimeter to deter poachers. That’s taken drastic measures !
So there are two victims in this horrible practice… the wildlife and the dogs. Both dying because of humans. Some think that it’s poverty related, this hunting wildlife with dogs. However, come to find out that in some communities its about gambling!
The hunters put money in a kitty. The owner of the dogs with the most kills of the day wins the pot. The killing is indiscriminate. A pack of dogs trained to kill will chase anything that moves. That means male, female and tiny ones alike are taken down brutally. Apparently dogs start tearing their prey apart before it’s dead.
Its hard to imagine the terror experienced by the Duiker or that hare fleeing for its life. Imagine the fear. Running for all you’re worth, only to be taken down with teeth ripping your belly open as you fall.
According to our camp host (confirmed by Marnus) local police do very little to intervene or to stop the practice of hunting wildlife with dogs. The only recourse it seems are the security companies working together with landowners to catch the illegal hunters in the act.
Should you witness people hunting wildlife with dogs please report to local land owners immediately.
Had we known this and acted faster upon our return to camp the hunters might have been apprehended.