Questions raised about death of Lower Sabie Pack of African Wild Dogs?
Further to the announcement by Kruger National Park officials of the sad death of the pack of Lower Sabie wild dogs, the Marloth Park Property Owners Association are asking the question; “Could selfish property owners in Marloth Park, or lack of law-enforcement of by-laws by the municipality, have contributed to the death of the Lower Sabie Pack of African Wild Dogs? Kruger Park veterinary experts said that the wild dogs (Lycaon Pictus) died from a disease called Canine Distemper. The wild dogs, which are an endangered species in South Africa, with as little as 450 individuals left in the wild, died around the weekend of 21 – 22 May this year, KNP announced.
Canine distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The disease commonly affects domestic dogs and can also be spread to other wildlife such as the African wild dogs, hyenas, lions and jackals.
Marloth Park is situated on the Crocodile River, sharing a 17 km common border with Southern Kruger National Park. This is less than 40 km from Lower Sabie Rest camp, and was well within the range of the Lower Sabie pack of African Wild dogs, and within this Sensitive Conservation area and Buffer zone to Kruger National Park.
Numerous property owners in Marloth Park, permanent residents and visitors alike, insist on keeping dogs and other domestic pets in their home even though this is clearly forbidden in the special by-laws of the Nkomazi Local Municipality for this sensitive conservation area. These property owners have been identified, warned and issued with fines, but continue to flout the law. The municipality, who are responsible for enforcing the by-laws, simply do not take the matter further than the warnings and fines! So the question can be asked – could it be possible that one of the domestic dogs, illegally living in Marloth Park, that was a carrier of canine distemper, have spread this terrible virus into the Lower Sabie pack? Is it the selfish property owners who insist on keeping domestic dogs in this “Red Zone”, or the Nkomazi Local Municipality, who are clearly failing with their enforcement of the by-laws, who are responsible for the demise of this endangered species?
Author: Denis Goffinet – Marloth Park Property Owners Association
Contact Details for MPPOA
Denis Goffinet – PRO & Marketing
341 Bushpig Avenue
+27 (0) 79 190 9805