The Painted Dogs of Mana Pools

The new alpha female of the Nyakasanga pack, Violet, had a litter of puppies in 2019. Violet is Blacktip’s daughter and Tait’s granddaughter, the two famous competing alpha females from the BBC 2018 Dynasties Painted Wolf Series narrated by Sir David Attenborough

Violet was impregnated by Jiani, who was later killed in July of 2019 by another predator, most likely a lion. This was the last litter he fathered.

looking for food wild dog
These are some beautiful photos from Nick Murray. In this one taken on July 13 of 2019, you see a very pregnant Violet digging her mother Blacktip’s old den in preparation for the birth of her puppies.

This is Violet’s first litter. She had seven beautiful and healthy painted dog puppies.

waiting for another food wild dog

Here are five of the tiny pups!

Puppies begin to wean at three weeks of age. The whole pack will regurgitate meat for them and continue to raise them if the mother should die.

waiting for another food wild dog

Above you see adults regurgitating food for the puppies!

Painted dogs have unique coloring including shades of red, yellow, brown, black and white.

waiting for another food wild dog

This beautiful puppy was from Violet’s litter. Sadly, only two of the seven pups in Violet’s litter survived the harsh conditions they experienced in Mana Pools as they matured.

The drought of 2019 made life very difficult for many of the Zambezi Valley wildlife. Seasonal rains brought welcome relief and are a sign of hope for the next generation of dogs.

waiting for another food wild dog
These are some of the painted dogs in Violet’s pack in a photo taken by Nkululeko “Freedom” Hlongwane in December of 2019.