Zimanga Private Game Reserve

The 58 kmĀ² private game reserve in the Mkuze district of KwaZulu-Natal reintroduced wild dogs in 2009. The initial reintroduction took place following the need to relocate a pack of three remaining animals from the Mkhuze Game Reserve pack. Over a period of several years the Mkhuze pack had incurred substantial losses through natural and snaring mortalities, as well as losses through natural dispersal events. A pair of wild dogs remained in the Mkhuze Game Reserve vicinity and bonded naturally with a dispersing female from Thanda Game Reserve. As a new reintroduction program was been developed for Mkhuze Game Reserve the willingness of Zimanga (formerly Hlambanyathi Game Reserve) to accept the pack of three was a welcome step for the KwaZulu-Natal managed metapopulation. The pack bred successfully and was later augmented by a single male wild dog from De Beers Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve. In early 2011 the alpha female was shot by a poacher, a move which was to have serious repercussions for the pack. Several months later pack fission resulted in a grouping of six and a grouping of 4 leaving the reserve. Five of the six were retrieved, whilst only one of the group of four returned, severely snared. Following a reallocation of wild dogs between Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Zimanga (formely Hlambanyathi) and Khamab Kalahari Reserve to artificially bond new functional breeding units, a pack of four wild dogs was released in Zimanga (formely Hlambanyathi) in late 2011.