Survival of the Species
Burnished by the harsh touch of early winter, teak woodland near Hwange NP Zimbabwe is bathed in the soft forgiving light of early morning. A pack of Painted Hunting Dogs has chased an impala ram to exhaustion. As the members of the pack arrive on the scene they will take their combined opportunities to quickly dispatch their prey and bring home and regurgitate meat for the growing pups back at the den some nine kilometres away.
For the moment the whelping alpha female looks on with caution as the alpha male is dangerously swept aside by the impala’s horns after boldly going for an immobilising nose hold. The dog nipping the hind leg provides some timely distraction before the inevitable rear attack and disembowelment of the weakened animal.
While I was in the final stages of constructing this drawing a lone hyaena suddenly appeared on the page to add another dimension to the African scene. Hyaenas will often follow the dogs on hunts hoping to snatch their prey. The dogs can usually drive off or keep at bay one hyaena and maybe two depending on the size of the dog pack. Nevertheless, a hyaena’s jaws can inflict bone crushing and life threatening injuries to the dogs and the interloper may add an untimely distraction to the hunt.
The Painted Hunting Dog is one of Africa’s most successful hunters and has evolved over millions of years to secure its niche with unique and fascinating social behaviour. Unfortunately this does not ensure the survival of this endangered species living on a planet where the human population grows thoughtlessly unchecked.
Available Editions of this Artwork
|Edition Info||Edition Size||Dimensions||Edition Price|
|Survival of the Species | Giclee (signed/numbered)||300||37.00cm H x 67.00cm W||$265.00 USD||