> Home > Programs > Beach Jackals
Share this video
The black backed jackals of Van Reenens Bay on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast have until now been exclusively scavengers, but recent research has revealed that they have started to actively hunt Cape Fur Seals.
They form hunting parties of four to ten, usually in the late morning hours, with each jackal having a specific role.
Once the prey is subdued, the incredible “mobbing” takes place: simultaneously, up to 70 individual surge forward. This triggers a freeding frenzy… and makes the original hunters unable to protect their prey. Despite this specialisation, a hunt is successful only 13% of the time… indicating just how hard it is to be a Black-backed jackal on the Skeleton Coast.
Through the eyes of researchers Ingrid Viesel and Eric Murray, the film explores all aspect of jackals lives: their dens behind the dunes, their litter, heir division of labor, their social interaction and communications. By following two different packs, the story delves into the complex dynamics of the individual jackals as they continually struggle for position and dominance.
By revealing the seal-mobbing new behavior and the reasons behind it, the film solves the riddle of a collective switch from scavenging to hunting, and documents its social consequences.