By Amanda Stringfellow @amanda_l_s
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A black-backed jackal took advantage of birds lured to the water source by the dry season – and ambushed the unsuspecting flock.
Emerging from the surrounding trees and causing a swarm of birds to fly into the air, the athletic animal leaps up to catch the nearest target.
The resourceful predator successfully traps a bird in its jaws before departing with his prize.
The images were captured by 39-year-old chartered accountant Hannes Rossouw in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Hannes said: “I have been fortunate to come across black-backed jackals hunting birds a few times during my travels in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
“Some of the jackals have obviously figured out that ambushing birds at a waterhole is a very effective strategy during the dry season in the Kalahari desert.”
Black-backed jackals, named for the saddle of black fur on their back, are native to southern Africa and can reach up to 11kg in weight.
The hunters and scavengers live on a diet of small antelope, hares, rodents, reptiles, birds and eggs.
“The jackals hide under the trees, and will hold back their charge until numerous doves have summoned the courage to drink,” said Hannes.
“Action is fast and furious, with jackals jumping in the water in an attempt to get to the birds, and panicked doves taking off in a hurry.”