In 1997 a pack of African wild dogs Lycaon pictus was reintroduced to Matusadona National Park in north-western Zimbabwe. Here we use this case study to consider anthropogenic factors likely to affect the success of wild dog reintroductions in southern Africa. Potential wild dog–human conflict was investigated using a questionnaire, administered to communal farmers near the Park, that recorded the incidence of livestock predation, snaring, traditional uses and attitudes of local people towards wild dogs. Predation on livestock was negligible, with wild dogs being responsible for <2% of goat losses to wild predators. Twenty-four different traditional uses for wild dogs and their body parts were described by 54% of survey respondents. Less than 25% of survey respondents were aware of the reintroduction, and only 20% felt positive about it. Recommendations for future wild dog reintroductions include before-and-after public relations and education programmes in neighbouring communities, monitoring to determine actual causes and rates of post-release wild dog mortality and vaccination against canid diseases.