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More books by Richard Grant. The third occasion was at the end of January and was during an afternoon game drive. We were just about to stop for a sundowner break, a stretch of legs and something to drink, when we received news that a pack of wild dogs had been found at Mhlwareni Dam, east of the central parts of Singita Sabi Sand.
Again, they had chased a male impala into this waterhole, and had surrounded it. A pair of Egyptian geese added to the drama, paddling around the middle of the water hole, the female honking and the male hissing, neither of them keen to venture close to the edge.
As dusk was already upon us, and the impala was seemingly anxious to spend his night on dry land, it became evident that something was bound to happen quite soon. Indeed, something did happen pretty quickly.
The impala made his way towards the dam wall, and when he was only a few meters from the edge, one of the adult dogs plunged right into the water, swam swiftly to the front of the impala, grabbed him by the neck and started to pull him to the edge! It all happened quite swiftly from that point, as the unfortunate impala was dragged under a dense bush between the water and the dam wall, and was devoured at speed. For a while this activity was difficult to see, but later on the carcass was dragged more out into the open and consumed by the hungry pack.
Thinking back on all of these cases, my conclusion is that in each case, the antelope deliberately plunged into the water, hoping in desperation that the wild dogs would be reluctant to follow.
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It certainly seems true that wild dogs are reluctant to plunge into water, presumably because of a fear of the possibility of crocodiles. In the case of the bushbuck, his tactic worked, but I think the fact that he plunged in among the hippos was what actually worked in his favour. Maybe it was a crazy and desperate decision, but it worked, and he survived.
In the case of the two impala rams, however, they probably sealed their own fate to a large extent. Of course, we will never know, but I do have great admiration and respect for both predator and prey — in the wild, it is all about survival! Lodges Conservation Regions Blog.