African Hunting Dog: Underdog of the Savannah

Regarding the predators of Africa, we all know about Lions (not the Kings of the Jungle since they do not live in jungles, that title should go to Tigers, but that is a personal opinion), Cheetahs and Hyenas. However there is one predator that is a more successful hunter that all others, frankly cuter and personally, I believe them to be enchanting creatures.

The African Hunting Dog (or African Wild Dog) is found only in Africa, predominately in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Kenya. Like all Canid species, they are sociable creatures living in family clans lead by the alpha male and female. What I like about the AFD is that they are look after all family members, when they have caught prey, the injured, young and elderly eat before the actual hunters. A socialist dream for the animal kingdom! As previously stated, AHDs are very successful hunters. They hunt in packs like Lions and Hyenas, however they use multiple methods of luring and bringing down they target. While Hyenas and Lions are use only the stalking method, the Dogs use mimicry of animal noises to fool they prey and once they get close enough; they work together to bring down and kill their victim.

Once Dogs had a vast range over Sub Saharan Africa, sadly they have been reduced to a small pockets in East Africa. Part of the reason for their decline is that they are too good at catching the livestock that shares they territory. Leading to an inevitable conflict with farmers were Dogs end up the losers. If we were to lose these wonderful, intelligent creatures if would be a true shame. Hopefully with conservation and captive breeding we can enjoy these animals for many more years.

AHD relaxing

wild dogs social

AHD ma and pup

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