Africa’s Wild Dogs: Jocelyn Kagan

Written by on October 27, 2020 in Book Club, Nature

When ever we visit the National Park the wild dogs are always illusive. I can’t recall ever seeing a wild dog there. I think maybe once but it was so far it could not be counted as sighting. Seeing them in Lion Park in Joburg does not even count near as a sighting or in any zoo. We have never seen a pack of them in the wild. More we have never seen them hunt which always seems such a thrill when we watch them on TV. With them on brink of survival it made it more intriguing to find these pack hunters. We usually play a game of points on who ever sights the big 5 and other big animals first gets max points and pack of wild dogs in my book would get infinite number of points. After many hours we clocked through the Kruger Park I have never seen this wonder of nature. We can learn many lessons from wild dogs.

African wild dog or African painted dog. There is huge debate are they dogs, wolves or from the hyaena family. Wild dogs are an endangered species, at time this book was written there are only 6600 wild dogs in the world.

Wild dogs are intelligent, hunt in packs and highly rely on team work during the kill. As a pack they solve their problems collectively. They are close knit and led by the alpha female who have to follow her rules and her command. She is the strategist and decison make. They are live by the pack and die by the back. They are very loyal to the pack. They have to have great communication skills especially to hunt with such precision. They are very social animals and rely highly on bonding with each other. Each one in the pack has their chores and responsibilities. Very interesting when pregnant matriarch is pregnant, she gives birth at ancestral denning area. She is left alone in the den. All the pack are outside around ensuring she is fed and secure. Like she goes on a bit of maternity leave and gives her time to rest and recuperate.

This book is an amazing insight in the life of the Wild dog. Royalties will go to African Wild Dog Survival fund.

About the book: Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story  is a large-format photographic celebration of one of the continent’s most charismatic and endangered predators. With only about 6,600 wild dogs left in Africa today, wildlife photographer Jocelin Kagan has made it her mission to bring the extraordinary lives of these often misunderstood and maligned animals into the spotlight. Her remarkable images and personal observations are supported by further insights by an array of scientific experts – their contributions reveal the fascinating behaviour and pack dynamics of these efficient hunters. Nomadic predators whose territories range thousands of kilometres, wild dogs hunt co-operatively, preying on small herbivores. They are non-confrontational, smart and sociable, and form complex and close family bonds, as this fascinating book reveals. Now restricted to small populations and threatened by human persecution, diseases, habitat fragmentation, climate change and natural predation, these dogs will be supported by the royalties earned from the sale of this book.

About Author: Jocelyn Kagan

A Higher Primary Teacher’s Diploma with specialisation in Speech & Drama, a Master Practitioner Certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, a Henley (UK) MBA, and I’m the published author of four books.

What I love most is ‘touching’ the moment. It’s the ‘aha’ which lights up the eyes in young and old, it’s a connection, an intrinsic exchange which transcends words. With wildlife its when the animal’s eye settles and looks directly into camera. This is the moment when all my senses come alive, it’s the moment when the photographer in me meets the intelligence on the side of the lens. My personal tapestry is colourful and varied. I taught young learners to believe their truth and be brave enough to speak it. I groomed business leaders to take a stand, speak their knowledge with confidence and without notes, engaging with their audience as if in conversation. I’m a dreamer and it’s within the dream I am inspired. I have also dabbled in oils and charcoal and love it when the artist in me takes over the camera. Sometimes it’s the backdrop of painterly skies reflecting the depth of mood and passion of the moment juxtaposing the drama playing out in front of it. Or sometimes it’s catching the endangered wild dogs when, fleet-o-foot, they’re displaying their intellectually smart hunting skills or when they’re caring with heart-felt tenderness for their pups or when they are being bravely curious. As a woman I believe I bring something special to my photography. Putting it into words; it is that special combination and connection between my subject and what stirs me most deeply to bring a sense of something different, a deep sense of soul to my work.


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