African Wild Dog Animal
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African Wild Dog Animal Facts:
Length: 76-141 cm (30-43 in)
Tail: 30-40 cm (12-16 in)
Weight: 17-36 kg (37-79 lb)
Social unit: Group
Probably the most social canid, the African wild or hunting dog lives in packs of 30 or more adults and young. Only the dominant pair breed, producing a litter of 10-12 (range 2-21) after a gestation of 71-73 days. However, the whole pack cares for and protects the pups, regurgitating food for them until they develop hunting skills by about 12 months. The pack also cooperates to hunt very large prey, such as wildebeest, zebra, and impala. This dog has long legs, and a lean build, with a relatively small head, large ears, and a short, broad muzzle. Unusually for a canid, it has only 4 toes on each foot. Its coat pattern is exceptionally variable, but the muzzle is usually black and the tail tip is white.
This species’ scientific name means “painted wolf” and aptly describes the coat pattern of variable patches and swirls in black, grey, yellow, and white.
Once widespread across Africa, in many habitats, this wild dog is now reduced to scattered, fragmented populations. It is still persecuted, trapped, shot, and snared, and is also killed accidentally by road vehicles. It suffers both habitat loss and diseases (rabies, distemper) from domestic dogs. Survival depends on active conservation, including tracking pack movements by fitting radio collars (shown here).
African Wild Dog Animal Pics Collection: