Also known as the Cape Hunting Dog, Spotted Dog, Painted Dog or Painted Wolf, the African Wild Dog is one of Africa’s most misunderstood carnivores. It is recognised as Africa’s most endangered predator with only between 3000 and 5000 left in the wild. Numbers have radically declined across Southern Africa due to habitat loss, poaching, diseases and threats from other predators.
Below we share some fascinating facts about this unique species.
1. Pups are the most important part of the pack as the alpha female, being the oldest and alpha male, being the strongest, are the typically the only breeders. The breeding pair usually only have one litter a year, while the rest of the pack helps raise the pups.
2. As all male wild dogs within a pack are related, some assume roles as ‘Den guards’, where they are stationed around the dens, often created by Aardvarks, to protect the pups from predators.