Other names: Cape Hunting Dog, African Painted Dog, African Wolves
Scientific name: Lycaon Pictus
Classification: Critically Endangered
No.’s left in the wild: 3000 – 5500
Original habitat: Widespread over Africa
Current habitat: Limited to 15 countries, restricted to significan populations in Botswana, Tanzania & Zimbabwe.
African Wild Dogs are in a genus of their own and are instantly recognisable by their mottled coat patterns and large ears. They are medium sized carnivores, weighing up to 30 kg and standing at 60-75cm at the shoulder. Every African Wild Dog has a unique pattern of markings on its coat.
In the past, African Wild Dogs were regularly killed in large numbers, particularly by farmers, who feared livestock losses. Conflict with some farmers still exists, even though the animal is legally protected in Namibia and Zimbabwe.
Nowadays the biggest threats are diseases such as rabies, distemper and parvovirus through interaction with domestic animals, which have further reduced numbers to dangerously low levels.
African Wild Dogs are the second most endangered large carnivore in Africa, but are not listed on CITES , despite being critically endangered. Many conservation societies and zoological societies are now trying to save these animals.