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African Wild Hunting Dog | by Sally Bowe
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African Wild Hunting Dog

This Dog is an African Hunting Dog. Also know as Cape Hunting Dogs or Painted Dogs, they are one of Africa’s most endangered mammals.

 

With only around 4000 of these dogs left in the wild, and that figure still declining, the litter of 4 at Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in Kent is hugely significant for the survival of the species. Because they have been known to take livestock they have been widely hunted by man.

 

Like all Hunting Dogs each of the precious creatures has a distinct coat pattern, different from each of its litter mates – rather like our own finger prints! Their latin name Lycaon pictus, literally means painted wolf and refers to the colourful brown, black, yellow and white patterns of their coats.

 

In their native African savannah, a pack of six to twenty animals is led by a dominant or alpha pair. Sadly these dogs were part of a litter of 16 and their mother died giving birth to them. The majority of puppies died too but this is one of the survivors

 

Texture with thanks to Logotip www.flickr.com/photos/34123770@N05/3236488312/in/set-7215...

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Taken on October 3, 2009