The Painted Dog, The Cape Hunting Dog, The African Wild Dog
Some amazing facts and information for kids about the lives of the African Wild Dog in Africa
African Wild Dogs are the size of medium domestic dogs. Their Latin name, Lycaon pictus, means “painted wolf-like animal.” Their coats are mottled in shades of brown, black and beige. They have large, rounded ears and dark brown circles around their eyes. They are different from wolves and other dogs in that they have four toes instead of five.
The average African wild dog weighs between 37 and 80 pounds and measures 24 to 30 inches high.
African wild dogs ONLY hunt to eat, they are carnivores which means they are meat eaters and they mostly hunt antelope, zebras, wildebeest, springboks, gazelles and impala.
Between 2,000 and 5,000 of these dogs remain in the wild, mostly in game reserves or national parks.
African wild dogs are only found in Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.
Savannas, grasslands and open woodlands are the preferred habitats of African wild dogs.
African wild dogs live and hunt in groups called packs. Packs typically include an alpha (dominant) male and female, their offspring and other related members. Historically, more than 100 dogs gathered in packs during spring migrations, but today the average pack of African wild dogs contains approximately 10 members. Unlike other canine species, packs of wild dogs frequently contain more male members than female members.
When hunting they can reach speeds up to 72 km/hr (45 mph) and they are among the top ten fastest land animals in the world.
Normally only the alpha male and female reproduce, while other members of the pack help care for the young. Pups are born every year, usually from March through June. A litter may contain as many as 16 pups, although infant mortality is high.
Interesting Facts – Did You Know
African Wild Dogs are also known as:
* Hunting Dog
* Painted Dog
* Cape Hunting Dog
* African Hunting Dog
* Painted Hunting Dog
* African Wild Hunting Dog
African Wild Dogs are the only species in the canid family to lack dewclaws on their forelimbs.
Their latin name, Lycaon Pictus, means ‘painted dog’.
There are approximately only 4,000 African Wild Dogs left worldwide.
Would you like to add more information about African Wild Dog in the Wild?