The photo of the week goes to Ranger Louis for this beautiful image of a pair of black-backed jackal pups taken near Settlers Drift in the greater Kariega wilderness.
Black-backed Jackal Commonly Seen in Eastern Cape
The jackal is a medium sized dog-like omnivore with a bushy tail and is found in Africa, Asia, and south-eastern Europe. The three major species of jackal found in these areas are: golden jackal (Canis aureus), side-striped jackal (Canis adustus), and black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas). These species differ from each other in colour and choice of habitat, and the black-backed jackal is commonly seen while on safari at Kariega Game Reserve.
Jackals Interesting and Varied Sounds
These sounds are meant to communicate with each other and include yelling, yapping, or distinctive siren-like howling. Many a guest, while sitting quietly at the boma fire, will hear the eerie sound of a pack of jackal howling to one another across vast distances often to alert one another when a kill is located.
Mother Jackals Regularly Change Den Sites
Mother jackals are known to regularly change den sites to protect the pups from probing predators. The black-backed jackal like to have a den with multiple exits. A fascinating fact about this species is that yearlings or pups a little older than a year, help take care of the newborn jackals. Most pup deaths occur during the first 14 weeks of birth and so all help is needed to increase the survival rate.
It is inevitable that you come across a black-backed jackal while out on a safari drive at Kariega Game Reserve, but one never tires of observing this beautiful and graceful species in the African bush. Please share your experiences with us on Facebook. We love hearing from you.