African wild dog Facts

African wild dog Facts
African wild dog, also known as Cape hunting dog or painted dog, is a member of canine family. These animals inhabit open plains and woodlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. They prefer arid zones and savannas. African wild dogs are endangered species. Their number decreased greatly due to extensive killing by farmers who want to protect their livestock. Besides that, African wild dogs are prone to the diseases that affect domestic animals. Also, habitat loss negatively affects survival of African wild dogs.
Interesting African wild dog Facts:
African wild dogs can reach the height of 30 inches at shoulder. They usually weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.
African wild dogs have long legs, strong jaws and large, bat-like ears. Their body is covered with fur which has irregular patches of red, brown, black, yellow and white color.
Every animal has unique pattern of colors. This helps scientists to identify individual animals.
African wild dog looks like a domestic dog. Unlike dogs, African wild dogs have four toes instead of five on their feet.
African wild dogs live and hunt in large packs that usually consist of 6 to 20 members. Strength of the pack depends on its size. Larger packs are more successful in hunt and in raising of the young animals.
All members of the pack take good care of other animals in the pack, especially of weak, young and old individuals. They never show aggression toward other members.
Members of the pack communicate using vocalization, touch and visual signs.
Each pack of African wild dogs has a dominant female and male couple. They guide the pack and perform reproduction.
African wild dogs hunt co-operatively, usually early in the morning and late in the night. They hunt antelopes, warthogs, wildebeest, rats and birds. African wild dogs are among the most successful hunters in Africa.
African wild dog can run 35 miles per hour and travel great distances during the day. When pack has young members, daily routes become shorter.
African wild dogs are territorial animals. Average size of the pack's territory is 1500 square kilometers.
Mating occurs between dominant pair in the pack. Female has one litter per year. Number of pups per litter can range from 2 to 20. Usually, female gives birth to 10 pups. There are twice as many males than females in the litter.
All members of the group take care of the babies. After successful hunt, both females and males regurgitate swallowed food to feed the youngest members of the pack.
Although litters can have nearly 20 babies, survival rate is very small. Babies usually die as a result of floods and diseases. All females that reach maturity will leave the pack. Unlike them, males will stay within their native pack.
African wild dogs can survive up to 11 years in the wild.

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