With its big antenna-like ears, sleek-streamlined body and patterned coat earning the species the nickname of painted wolf, the African wild dog is a sight to behold in the natural environment. And being the most successful hunters of all predators, they most certainly count as a favourite sighting among visitors to the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve.
Wild dogs sightings don’t occur on a regular basis, as they have vast home ranges (between 400 and 1 500 square kilometres) and roam as much as 50 kilometres a day in search of their much-needed protein intake.
In the last couple of months we have, however, been very fortunate enough to get up close and personal on a number of occasions to these magnificent animals. This will remain so for the foreseeable future with the denning period upon us. With the alpha male and female being the only breeding pair, we can expect the emergence of a handful of playful and energetic pups around August.
Some interesting facts about wild dog pups:
- They are born blind and with a black coat with scattered white spots which change into the characteristic adult colouring between six and seven weeks of age.
- They are starting to get weaned from two weeks onward when they begin eating regurgitated meat.
- They leave the den only after a month and start leaving the pack when they are around 18 months old.
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