The Mbungo pack of “Painted Wolves” (as BBC’s David Attenborough and Painted Wolf Wines would call them!)
A den in Deep mopani woodland on senuko- camera traps have shown a pair of lions investigating and digging at the den entrance. I am in dread that they may have excavated the babies….
yay! When I visit the den north of Senuko Lodge, I spot about 10 pups – 9th June ay 5 pm -I estimate 5/6 weeks old -the alpha female refusing to suckle them with warning growls -pack seemed intact.
12th June 5 pm -2 whitebacked vultures flew from trees in the den area, as I approached – two pups seen at den entrance – one with « cabbage ears » chewing a lump of gristle and a dark male dog (Jupiter- he who we took a horrible snare off the year before? Or alpha male?) on guard- ragged right ear and tattered mostly black tail …brown strip over his rump.
Dusk falling, a hooded vulture lands clumsily in a tree over the den and at 5,30 pm I hear faint twittering briefly in the mopani woodland -other dogs are out there, but the guard dog does not respond.
A few days later I return to the den and am astounded, 13 fabulous pups bounce all over the den mound and come close to stare at me!
I am in heaven, sketching and watching over the weeks, as they grow and thrive.
Pups I, acrylic on canvas board, 41 x 61 cm
The den is a safe haven when other predators threaten
Mother and Pups, acrylic on canvas board, 61 x 76 cm
Not many young things have the big-eared impossible cuteness of wild dog pups!
I will NEVER tire of painting these little beings…
Pups II, acrylic on canvas board, 41 x 61 cm
The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues.
This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil.
Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation.
Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas.
Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.