Tag Archives: jackal

Black-backed jackal by Alison Nicholls

Black-backed Jackals

For me, black-backed jackals are synonymous with the Kalahari Desert. Their jaunty trot carries them here and there within their territories as they expertly hunt and scavenge, surviving in one of the toughest places on Earth. Then night falls, and their howls pierce the darkness – a beautiful sound, but sharp and cold as the starlight above. 

Black-backed jackal by Alison Nicholls

Black-backed Jackal III, ink and watercolor on acrylic, 5×5″ cradled board

The other image of black-backed jackals that sticks in my head is when jackals converge on an area where lions are feeding on a kill. If there are too many lions and it’s dangerous to try stealing, they wait patiently, curled up under different bushes nearby, until the lion pride moves on. Then they all dash in (along with the sharp-eyed vultures which have also congregated) to grab their share of the meat. They eat nervously, frequently scanning the area in case the lions return. Then, when they’re done, off they trot.
Jauntily, of course!

Black-backed jackal by Alison Nicholls

Young Jackal, ink and watercolor on acrylic, 5×5″ cradled board

Both these artworks can be purchased from my Etsy store, and I’ll donate 25% of the price to Cheetah Conservation Botswana.
Until next time, stay jaunty!



Leopard by Nigel Nicholls © 2013

Leopard by Nigel Nicholls © 2013

When I arrived in Africa in 1994, I was keen to see as much wildlife as possible, but their tracks (or spoor) were a complete mystery to me. I soon found out that a cat track has 3 lobes on the back of the large pad – perfectly displayed in this photo of a resting leopard by my husband Nigel Nicholls.

I knew I would forget this piece of information so I made up this little rhyme “one, two, three, cat up a tree” to remind myself. Even though I don’t need the rhyme anymore, it still pops into my head whenever I see a cat track!

I am guessing I’m not alone in trying to find ways to remember information.
What do you do?

Until next time…

Art Inspired by Africa and Conservation
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