Kwando Safaris has reported the birth of a highly leucistic (almost white) African Wild Dog puppy at its 4 Rivers Camp, the latest luxury tented camp that opened in June. The presence of this rare leucistic puppy is considered extremely unusual and almost unheard of in Botswana for the past 30 years.
According to Dr J.W Tico McNutt, Director of Wild Entrust, in the 1990s, guides first observed leucistic pups in the Kwando region. Some male Wild Dogs from the Kwando pack later formed a group called the Golden Pack in the Vumbura area. Descendants from this lineage established another family in Kwara, where the leucism trait persisted but was somewhat diluted.
Leucism is a condition that results in a lack of melanin, the natural pigment responsible for brown and black colouration in the skin, feathers, or hair. The leucistic puppy at 4 Rivers appears almost white, unlike the pale tan tone of the Vumbura ‘golden’ dogs.
Currently, the leucistic puppy is interacting normally with its siblings and adults. "This puppy might darken as it ages, and there is an outside chance that its whole body is one big white patch, which sometimes happens with domestic dogs and cats,” McNutt added.
The guides at 4 Rivers Camp are closely observing the development of the puppy's unique colouration, adding to the overall interest and experience of visitors at the camp.