The African Wild Dog


The African Wild Dog

Licoan pictus is the scientific name for the African wild dog, which decodes into our daily language as a painted wolf. More names for the African wild dog are painted hunting dog and cape hunting dog. However magnificent, this African animal does not get much of the respect that it, or any other animal, deserves. There are approximately three to five thousand individual African wild dogs alive, and they are endemic to eastern and southern Africa. The human population in these areas does not accept these wild dogs for what they are, because they believe that these animals eat up their crops, even their livestock. Here are some similar facts about African wild dogs.

The Appearance Of African Wild Dogs

The African Wild Dog
The African Wild Dog

The African wild dog has round ears and legs that are longer than our domesticated dogs’. The rounded ears add to the hearing abilities of the wild dog. While dogs generally have a high range to hear sounds, rounded ears capture more than our domesticated dogs’ pointy ears do. Wild dogs, as well as domesticated dogs, both evolved from wolves and have slight but significant differences between each other. These differences are small for their appearance, and notable because domesticated and wild dogs cannot interbreed. Also, wild dogs cannot be tamed, they are meant to be wild, as the name suggests.

Africa Wild-Dogs Look Out For Their Packs

The African wild dogs define the spirit of the phrase one for all and all for one. They roam together and never alone. The number of dogs here may even be just two, up to about 27 dogs. The wild dogs always look out for each other. If one is injured, the others care for it in the way they know how to. They bring food to injured dogs until they recover. A group of wild dogs may even get together to attack an animal whose prey they may have been, despite being smaller. 

The litter that a female African wild dog gives birth to has an average of about ten puppies. This is the biggest litter of canids. Another interesting fact about the species’ breeding habits is that it’s only the dominant male and female who reproduce, while the others in the pack help to take care of and rear the puppies.

African wild dogs are incredibly fast and can run up to a speed of 44 miles an hour. They run off to places in a 770 square mile radius on any day. However, when a new litter is born, the wild dogs stay closer to their dens to care for the puppies, once again showing that they look out for their packs.

Endangered Status Of The African Wild Dogs

The African Wild Dog
The African Wild Dog

The African wild dog is an endangered species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) gave the species its endangered status. As mentioned before, humans in the areas where this endangered species is found dislike the wild dogs. This is one of the reasons that humans kill wild dogs. More reasons for the depletion of African wild dogs are that they are killed by traps set for other animals, disease, the loss of their habitat, and many a time, bigger predators may even attack them. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is working towards reducing the depletion of these wild dogs by trying to sort out conflicts with locals. WWF is also making attempts to conserve the ecosystems that are homes to the African wild dog.

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