I love jackals. They are slightly bigger than a fox, but they move in the same jumpy way. This one stood in the evening light, apprehensively checking us out.Photo taken in Dinokeng Game Reserve.
While for some their trigger finger itches when they see a black-backed jackal, I like these opportunistic hunters. This one was in a real hurry, running towards and past us on the road, tongue out. I wonder where he had to go!
For the farming community in South Africa, jackals are a costly nuisance, as they kill sheep that are an important agricultural livestock. For a long time, bounties were paid for every hunted jackal. However, whether this really helped to keep the population in check is unclear. According to some, killing a jackal does no more than giving space to two or more jackals who will fight for the territory, and kill even more sheep in the process. I’m not a farmer, and for me seeing a jackal or hearing it in the night is an exciting event. Taking photos of the jackals in my neighborhood has so far been unsuccesful, so here is one from Pilanesberg National Park.
A black-backed jackal hunting early in the morning in Pilanesberg National Park.
We hadn’t seen much this morning, and my stomach was grumbling, so we decided to just park the car and have some breakfast while we were watching a group of impalas. Suddenly, a little further afield, I saw movement. It was this little jackal, who kindly moved into the direction of our car so that I could get a good shot!