Scientifically referred to as Lycaon pictus, the African Wild dog is among the exciting wild game explored on Uganda Safaris and Tours in various protected areas across the country.
African wild dog is known to thrive in the south of Sahara, recorded to
be the largest among its family on the continent of Africa and the only
existing member of the Lycaon Genus that is differentiated from the
Canis by its fewer toes along with dentition which is highly customized
for hypercanivores diet as often viewed while on safaris in Uganda Africa.
as the largest among its family, the African wild dog rises to 60 –
75cm at the shoulder height and stretching to 20 – 25kg in weight in the
region of East Africa though they can stretch to 30kg in South Africa.
The females are about 3 – 7% smaller than the male counterparts. Its
fur is majorly composed of stiff bristle-hairs and has no under fur. The
fur is lost with age and the old African wild dogs can be almost naked.
Wild dogs feature extreme color variation which also helps for visual
identification because they can identify one another at a distance of 50
– 100 meters. The colors differ according to geography with those in
the East Africa marked with majorly black with small white along with
yellow patches as viewed on East Africa safari tours whereas the South African counterparts feature brighter coloring that includes brown, black along with white coats.
behavior, the African wild dog features strong social bonds than the
spotted hyenas and lions and as a result they do not feature solitary
hunting and living. They thrive in permanent packs of about 2 – 27
adults. The male and female African wild dogs feature distinct hierarchy
dominancy with the oldest members in each sexes being leaders. However,
some groups may contain very old members that were once leaders.
gestation period of Africa wild dog ranges from 69 – 73 days and the
pregnancy interval is majorly 12 – 14 months and it produces between 6 –
16 pups on each single birth which shows that each successful birth can
generate individuals enough to form own pack. But due to food
shortages, the breeding in the pack is often limited to the main female
which can even kill the pups of the subordinates.
The African Wild
dog feeds majorly on Thompson Gazelle but it as well hunts Impala, Kob,
reedbuck, springbok and lechwe. Others include; Warthog, Wildebeest,
duiker, Oribi, Waterbuck, Zebra, Grant’s gazelle, African buffalo mainly
young ones among others. It thrives mainly in savannah areas and arid
landscapes and would practically avoid areas with dense forests.
The African Wild dog is listed as endangered on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Travelers can gain chances of viewing the African wild dog while on a safari in Uganda to destinations like Kidepo Valley National Park among other savannah parks.