African wild dogs are extremely active and need to average a kill a day to keep their energy levels up. Excellent hunters, they target prey cooperatively in packs, using stamina rather than stealth, and communicating using a range of vocalisations, including a short bark of alarm, a rallying howl and a bell-like contact call.
After singling out an injured or old animal in the herd, the hunting pack will boldly approach. As the herd stampedes, the dogs will chase down their prey. African wild dogs have been known to pursue prey for more than an hour, using the white tips of their bushy tails as flags to keep the pack in contact.
The hunting clan will eat the prey on the spot and then return to the rest of the pack to regurgitate food for the young and injured.
- African wild dogs are easily identified by their splotched coat of brown, white, black and yellow
- No two dogs bear the same markings
- The wild dog’s front pawprint shows four toes
- Highly social animals, wild dogs live in packs of 5 to 15, led by an alpha male or female
- Each dog shares in the spoils of a hunt, and each pack member (male and female) contributes to caring for the pups