A Golden Opportunity

So, yesterday evening J and I were enjoying a home showing of the movie ‘John Wick‘, well I was enjoying it – J was cringing and passing frequent disgusted comments on what is, I have to admit, one of the most gratuitously violent, story line lacking films I’ve ever seen. That said, bad taste has never been too much of a barrier for me to enjoy a good hoot!


Anyway, in the midst of a particularly violent, far-fetched brawl scene in which a couple of war dogs were taking the ‘bad-guys’ down, quite literally, by the short-and-curlies, the hairs on the back of my neck prickled. Outside the cabin, in the pitch-dark, something was scraping and banging and bumping on the steps! It was spooky! Being an old, very creaky and long-retired ‘roughie-toughie’ I got up slowly to investigate.

What I expected to find was one of the feral cats that live around the area having a go at the rubbish bag I’d left invitingly on the veranda. What confronted me was the rubbish bag at the bottom of the steps (a couple of wine bottles were the cause of the banging) and this fellow trying to front me down . .


Canis auris - Golden Jackal
a beautiful young Golden Jackal – Canis aureus

This creature, whilst cautious, was not much bothered by J and me being around and talking to it. I asked for it to hang around whilst I fetched my phone and a couple of slices of bread and it duly obliged. I sat at the bottom of the steps and threw a piece of bread towards it and it showed its appreciation by drawing closer. Now, I know that bread is not ideal but it was J’s home-baked so plenty of roughage! All dogs are opportunist scavengers and Golden Jackals are particularly well adapted and can thrive by raiding maize, grape and watermelon when meat is hard to come by. If they must they will even survive on grasses at a pinch! J and I are also both aware that breaking down a wild animals mistrust of humans is a bad idea – lives get lost that way. So, our wild neighbours are welcome to scavenge the compost bins but there will be no regular encouragement to fraternise.

Meanwhile, here’re some more photos – not brilliant but then there was not much light to be had . . and ‘yes’ it really did come that close! There was no ‘social-distancing’ last night!




This was such a delightful, special interlude. I’m sure this creature will be back from time to time. We know from their howling that they are great wanderers covering a large territory – sometimes barely heard and others right outside. I’ve said many a time on social media that ‘there they go again enhancing the ezan’ (call to prayer). Some have asked if I could record it but it’s either been too distant or I’ve been unprepared. Attached below is a link to a recording of Golden Jackals in full voice by someone better prepared. It really captures eerie quality. There is also a mass of information, photos and videos available online if the fancy takes you – and it should.


Alan, howling with the jackals!

8 thoughts on “A Golden Opportunity

  1. What a sweetie!! We also have our canine ‘muezzins’ here, but none as gorgeous or rare. The photos are pretty good given the darkness. You’re lucky to have such a nice new friend.

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    1. On doing a bit more reading-up on these creatures I learned that they are successfully expanding their territory. They are moving further south in Africa and further west in Europe. They are also amenable to ‘domestication’ – the Russians have cross-bred them with huskies and employ them as security at airports etc. due to the superior ‘sniffers’ of the Golden Jackal.


      1. See plenty of herd footprints around but they are very elusive and secretive. Some of the herds are hundreds strong according to locals.


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