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Also known as Cape hunting or painted dogs, these highly intelligent hunters are becoming increasingly endangered. African Wild Dogs have a body length between 76 and 110 cms (30 - 43 inches), a tail length between 30 and 41 cms (12 - 16 inches) and they weigh between 17 and 36 Kgs (37 - 79 lbs). African Wild Dogs are found in the savannah, plains, swamps and semi-desert areas of Africa. African Wild Dogs are exclusively carnivorous and they mainly feed on gazelle, zebra, impala, wildebeest, hares, rodents and other small animals. The pups are the first ones to feed at a kill and members of the pack will regurgitate food to feed those that stayed at the den, such as a the alpha female with pups or any old dogs that cannot keep up. African Wild Dogs have no natural predators however their main threats are disease and habitat fragmentation.


African Wild Dogs are the only species in the canid family to lack dewclaws on their forelimbs. They once ranged widely throughout Africa but now have a patchy distribution with the most viable populations being in Southern Africa. Each wild dog has its own unique markings and the multi-colours help it to blend into its dappled scrubland background.
The white tips on their bushy tail helps pack members keep in touch in long grass.EarsThe disproportionately big, erect ears act as sound collectors, helping a wild dog to keep in touch with the calls of its pack over vast distances.
Their long legs help the dogs to run at speeds of up to 35mph when the pack is in pursuit of a gazelle or wildebeest. However, because each pack requires an extensive home range for hunting, of 500 to 1,000 square miles (the area of Greater London) human encroachment on their habitat has had a big effect on populations.


Packs of fewer than half a dozen wild dogs are not viable because they cannot hunt effectively. Potentially, therefore, the only populations that have a chance of survival now exist only in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.



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