Sunday, January 17, 2010

wild dogs

First an update on Jessie: we removed the bandage on the foot so it can get some air, but the one on the hand still needs to be wrapped so that she won't chew and suck on it. She doesn't seem to know she's wounded, though. She jumps around just like before--just can't hold on and climb as well with that big bandage on--it looks like a big, white mitten. Coco was hurt last night, though (more on that some other day), so Jessie slept with me and Pickles. One big animal family.

I want to tell you about an animal that a lot of people don't know about outside Africa--the African Wild Dog. They're amazing but very endangered because they're such successful hunters (in packs) that the farmers shoot them just for existing. Harnas has a Wild Dog Project that is trying to breed them and then release them in controlled areas. Right now, Harnas has about 1% of the Wild Dog population that exists.

They're about the size of a medium-sized dog and each one has a different "tye-dye" look to their coat--like a fingerprint they can be identified by this. They have big round ears like Mickey Mouse that help them communicate with each other while they hunt. And the SOUND. Nothing like you've ever heard. Not a bark, not a yelp--a kind of squeak. When we go out to feed them, they go nuts and all make noise at once. I'm going to include a video of their feeding frenzy because if you haven't heard it, you'd never believe it.

When they hunt, they take turns running after the animal, and one dog gets tired, others take over, taking nips and bites out of the prey until it's exhausted and falls. Then they share the kill--even taking meat home to old dogs and pups. They're matriarchal--go girls--and only the alpha female gets to have litters, but all of the females help take care of them. With them, it's all for one and one for all. They know their strength is in their numbers, not their power (like lions), their stealth (like leopards), or their speed (like cheetahs).

Here's the video:

1 comment:

  1. Wow.. sort sounds like my yorkie x10 when I'm preparing my dinner!