With its multi-coloured coat, the African wild dog is part of the continent’s natural canvas. But less than five thousand of these enigmatic predators are left in the world, and there’s a real danger in them disappearing from the landscape. Hence the celebration each year on 26 August of #WildDogDay to ensure Africa’s painted wolf remains an inhabitant of Mother Earth.
Wild dogs may be unfairly judged by their motley scruffy appearance and those big round ears. However, they are highly intelligent, cooperative and gregarious creatures. And they deserve assistance and recognition in their fight for survival.
Here are some interesting facts about African Wild Dogs
Wild Dogs have a Unique 'Fingerprint'
The yellow, white, grey and black patches of hair on a wild dog are unique to each animal, much like a human’s fingerprint.
Wild Dogs are Social Animnals
They are highly sociable animals with pack numbers ranging from 10 to 40 animals, including a dominant male and female breeding pair.
They Birth Large Litters
During May, Wild dogs den in abandoned aardvark holes with anything between eight and 20 pups being born around two and half months later.
More about the African Wild Dog
Wild Dogs Support One Another
The strong social bonds between wild dogs can be seen in the care and support of other pack members who may be ill or weak, and this includes bringing food back to the den.
They Are Vocal
A wild dog uses various vocalisations to send different messages to the rest of the pack. This includes twittering and whining sounds when greeting, as well as an owl-like call to find the pack when lost.
Wild Dogs are Team Players
Wild dogs are cooperative hunters with some running close to the prey while others fall behind, only taking over when the front runners get tired.
It's All in the Sneeze
There are indications that a wild dog will sneeze to make decisions on when to hunt. If a dominant individual within the pack sneezes, it will likely result in a hunt.
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