Where are they now? Painted Wolves

SPOILER ALERT: It was a story of a family fighting for reign of their territory, but what happened next to Blacktip, Tait and their families?

After Dynasties, Blacktip successfully reared most of her large litter, and subsequently many of her offspring have dispersed to set up new packs.

We know of at least two daughters, Tait’s granddaughters, who are now alpha females also making their way in Mana Pools.

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The old matriarch, tait at 10.5 years old, coming to the end of her hugely successful reign. she kept the peace in mana pools for many years. © BBC NHU
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 Tammy – the first time mother – has had a harder ride. We returned to Mana Pools with Sir David Attenborough to see her in April 2018. At this point she only had one surviving pup from her 2017 litter. Two days later we found her again, minus that pup. The pack were all gently hoo-calling for the lost pup. It was a very emotional scene to witness. Despite their loss they let us sit calmly with them for a couple of hours before the sun went down. For Tammy, losing her litter to larger predators was a result of her youth and inexperience. Interestingly her mother, Tait, also lost all of her first litter (to lions) and she, of course, went on to be hugely successful.

Producer Nick Lyon returned to Mana in September 2018, and to his great joy he found Tammy with 5 new, strong and healthy puppies. She seemed to have learnt her lesson and had moved away from the area where some new incoming lions had been causing her problems. She had recently lost her alpha male, Twiza, to lions, but his brother Tim had stepped in and is now looking after Twiza’s pups.

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Tammy, when yearling, displays her strong, healthy teeth. tammy would go on to become tait’s successor after tait was killed by lions in the pridelands. © Nick Lyon

 Blacktip was last sighted at her den in August 2018. It is very normal for her to first head South away from the river when the pups leave the den; she does this to build their strength and knowledge before bringing them back to the floodplain which is full of dangers at that time of year, as well as the majority of the food. Lyon is confident Blacktip will manage to raise many of these pups. She’s a very smart alpha, but it is a tough world out there for them.   Blacktip is now the age Tait was when we first started filming. She is approaching the end of her reign. It feels like the whole story could be starting again. Lyon wishes he could be there to see how it all plays out.

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