A canid was the first critter I saw at this waterhole cam in the Namib Desert where we met the cheetahs last week.
Wondering what other cats might be around, and knowing that most cats like to hunt at dawn and twilight (while cheetahs presumably prefer daylight for their chases), I tuned in right around dawn, Namibia time (UTC+2), on Wednesday evening, aaaand — nothing.
For a long time. But as the eastern (upper left) sky lightened, there was movement in the shadows — OMG!ALIVEAFRICANWILDANIMALYOUGUYS! INAFRICA! — ahem. It was interesting, but the animal didn’t come near the lighted area and I could only see that it didn’t walk like a cat, wasn’t slope-backed like a hyena, and appeared to have a pointy muzzle: so, a canid of some sort.
It wasn’t a painted dog — they have those long legs and walk like they’re on springs.
A jackal? A fox? (Yes, there some in the Namib, as we’ll see next week.)
It was solitary, though, and I didn’t identify it before it vanished in the darkness.
But I see it, or ones like it, in this April 13th video from the waterhole; the title is a little misleading because sound and eventually sight both confirm that the jackal — probably a black-backed jackal, the oldest living wolf-like canid (per Dr. Wikipedia) — is not alone, and the cheetahs know it.
From other videos I infer that these are young siblings and were born nearby. Mom might be the one that goes after the jackal a couple of times.
From what I could find out online, it is a privately owned park and there is a lodge nearby. Here are its cam FAQs (that link is very commercial but you don’t have to sign up for anything to read the FAQs).
Some lagniappe: Dawn in Nambia is just a few hours before midnight in Oregon, so I got offline and, Thursday morning, got back on the cam.
It was nighttime, of course, and there was a giraffe! But it didn’t move. It just stood there, and I finally decided that it was asleep.
Which raises the question: how do giraffes sleep?
For those who check out the cam, what have you found? Thus far, I’ve seen, in addition to the jackal and giraffe, a single oryx (daytime) and, believe it or not a porcupine!
I’ve heard elephants once, and the next day the area around the waterhole looked a little disheveled. In what might be a related development, people operating the waterhole have let the pooled outflow dry up and didn’t pump out more (see their FAQ — there’s a reservoir nearby).