Wild Dog [Lycaon pictus]
The Wild dog is a wild, carnivorous member of the canine family that stands about 750mm at the shoulders. Males are slightly bigger than the females, weighing around 25kg. They have a dusty yellow coat, that is covered in large black and white spots. Each wild dog has a different and unique coat pattern, making it easy to identify different members in the pack.
Wild Dogs’ prey consists mostly of small and medium animals, but their favourite prey is Impala. In some places it has been recorded that packs have also hunted large prey like Wildebeest and Zebra. Wild Dogs hunt and collaborate in packs wearing down the prey until it stops, where they then proceed to tear the prey apart.
Wild Dogs are seasonal breeders, with pups born mid winter after a gestation period of 70 days. Only the Alpha Pair may breed in a pack while the other members take turns with helping rear the pups. With up to 12 pups in a litter, the female cannot suckle them all for too long.
Pack sizes may vary from a young pair to up to 50 members. Wild Dogs are very social Animals and spend most of their time with other members. These animals are one of the most effective hunters that will take on large prey like Eland to small prey like hares.
Wild Dogs can be found in moderately dense bush and open plains. Distribution of these animals are difficult to pinpoint as they are constantly moving to newer areas. A majority of them can be seen in the Kruger National Park, nearTshokwane, Skukuza and Phalaborwa.