African Wild Dog

Lycaon Pictus

African Leopard

Weight: ±24-30kg's
Longevity: 11 years

Behavior

African Wild Dogs, also known as painted wolfs, or hunting dogs, a diurnal animals. They are most active early morning and late afternoons, resting in the shade during the hottest hours and sleeping in a burrow for protection at night.

Wild dogs live in large home ranges; however the area around the den is actively defended. The dogs can move between 30km to 60km per day.

Social Structure

Wild dogs live in packs which usually number between 6 – 20 individuals; however packs of over 40 animals do exist.

These packs consist of an alpha male and female, their young as well as related adults.

Diet

African Wild Dogs are carnivorous. They are the most successful hunters out of all the large African predators. They average an 80% success rate when hunting.

The reason why they are so successful is because they have incredible stamina. They can run at 80km per hour over a number of kilometres. Their prey will become tired from the chase and once it slows down or stops the hunting dogs will catch it.

Breeding

Only the alpha male and female breed within the pack. The female will give birth to a litter of 2 to 20 pups, with a gestation period of 3,5 months.

The pups will stay close to the den for 3months, until they are old enough to start exploring and joining in the hunts with the rest of the pack.

All of the adults in the pack will defend the pups and look after them.

Threats

Although lion, leopards, and hyena are a great threat to the African Wild Dogs, humans are the biggest threat these dogs have.

Wild Dogs have been known to hunt livestock and farmers poison or shoot the dogs if they are found on their land.  Due to the fact that these animals are such great hunters many wild life farmers, and private game reserves do not want wild dogs on their farms.

Rabies is also a large problem with the dogs and when on animal contracts the decease it is easily passed to all the other members of the pack.

African Wild Dogs are critically endangered, and number less than 5000 within the wild. These animals need our protection.