Reintroducing the Wild Dog
One of the neat carnivores I got to work with in South Africa that we don’t experience much in Tanzania is the African wild (or “painted”) dog. These endangered carnivores live and hunt in highly social packs which, like wolves, are dominated by an alpha male and female. African wild dogs used to roam the Serengeti, but vanished in the park in the early 1990s due in part to diseases such as rabies and canine distemper contracted from domestic dogs.
During my first field season, I was fortunate enough to watch a pack of these animals being re-introduced into the park, and several more releases have taken place since. In total, over 60 wild dogs are now recolonizing Serengeti — we haven’t seen any in our camera trap areas yet, but there are rumors that they might be wandering through soon!
Cool! They are beautiful “painted.” 🙂
I had the pleasure of watching a pack of wild dogs in Chobe NP. I so hope their reintroduction is a success. Great post.
I just got back from SA where I did a two week stint with WildlifeACT monitoring wild dogs. Loved it. The dogs were so interesting to watch their social behavior. We saw them take down a warthog and five of them ate it within 30 minutes. Cute, but definitely a fearsome carnivore!
I was just working with the WildlifeACT group at Somkhanda Reserve, SA! Were you working with Taryn, Pippa, and Michele? WA is a great group doing some fantastic work. We’re hoping to run some camera trap projects with them in the near future!