An entire pack of 15 African wild dogs slept through a 1,000 mile journey from South Africa to their new life in Mozambique on Thursday.
Lined up neatly next to one another, the family of canines were ideal passengers for the seven-hour journey.
The dog flight was organised by non-profit organisation, The Bateleurs Flying for the Environment in Africa, alongside partners the Endangered Wildlife Trust.
Cole du Plessis, from Endangered Wildlife Trust, and vet Rowan Leeming. These two men, along with pilot Raymond Steyn (not pictured), delivered an entire pack of 15 endangered African wild dogs to their new life in Mozambique on Thursday.
All passengers, flown by volunteer pilot Raymond Steyn, made it safely to their new home in Gorongosa National Park, in Mozambique, on Thursday.
The dogs are helping to re-establish a population wiped out during the 1977-1992 civil war, and it’s hoped the pack will help boost numbers of just over 6,000 animals across the whole of Africa.
Zelda de Keijzer, from The Bateleurs, said there was a strong UK connection with the relocation, thanks to vital support from the Tusk Trust and Rufford Foundation.
She said: ‘Wildlife is now thriving in Gorongosa, with numbers of species and animals having made a strong comeback. With the abundance of herbivores, the natural next step is the return of large carnivores.
‘Wild dogs are one of the continent’s most at-risk carnivores, and are listed by the IUCN as Endangered.
Urgent action is required to save them, and a key conservation strategy is the reintroduction of packs into viable habitats where they once occurred.
‘We work closely with the African Wild Dog Meta-Population Project managed by the Endangered Wildlife Trust and have transported more than 60 Wild Dogs with a 100 per cent safety and success rate.’
Before being released all the dogs were vaccinated and fitted with VHF and GPS collars to enable them to be monitored.
The Gorongosa National Park has been at the centre of conservation for Mozambique with both the government and the Carr Foundation helping restore the area.