African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf. How would you like to be known by so many different names, but of the technical name, there’s only one Lycaon pictus.
The wild dog is the second largest wild canid in the world and the largest in Africa.
They hunt in packs and have a 80% kill rate, (Lion only 30%) an efficient hunter. Using a vocal calling of chirping or squeaking they coordinate their hunt, which is usually by basically running their prey into submission, it is a cursorial hunter like most members of the dog family. Considered vicious or ferocious in their hunting style, often disembowelling bigger prey whilst alive, they were hunted to near extinction by conservationist. Devouring their kill, and over eating allows them to regurgitate meat when they return to their den; this way feeding the dominant female that remains at the den during the hunt; as well as the young, lame and sick dogs. A very social group with little to no fighting within it as hierarchies are determined by submission rather than dominance.
There were once 500 000 of the specie spread over 39 countries; this now down to 6 000 in 10 to 14 countries. As the specie needs larger tracts of land for their territories, competing for land with humans has contributed to their near demise. They are now only found in the larger game reserves like the Kruger National Park. Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa the last stand of the species. The first three countries have the majority of the remaining populations but the other three thought to have safe and secure groups that can easily survive.
An endangered specie.
These photographs where taken near Pretorius kop camp site.