These lovely, long-legged creatures, although canines, have only four toes on each foot. Also called painted dogs or Cape hunting dogs, the African wild dog’s pack structure is like that of the wolf. They are highly sociable as a pack and are known to share food and pull together when one of them is injured or sick. They have great communication skills using touch, physical movements and voices. Packs are dominated by a monogamous breeding pair producing anything up to 20 pups. When the pups are born the whole pack turns out to help look after them.
Savannahs, deserts and forests.
What do they eat?
Antelope, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, springbok and impala. Birds and rodents.
Habitat loss, persecution (hunting and poisoning), diseases spread by domestic animals (rabies and distemper), and, the occasional run in with a lion.
It is estimated 3,000 to 5,500 remain in the wild; specifically within game reserves and national parks.Even though protected in these locations, the populations have declined dramatically. So much so, in some cases the packs have all but disappeared.
“It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.”