Monday, August 6, 2012

African Wild Dogs

Recently I wrote a post about the okapi at Brookfield Zoo, and the moment I first fell in love with an animal most people had never even heard of.  The okapi is not the only endangered animal at the zoo that I am in love with.  Another delightful animal is the African Wild Dog.  It wasn’t the first time I had watched the African Wild Dogs, but they were still a new animal for me, not high on the average zoo-goers list of animals to see, when I realized what a delight they are. 

On the day I remember, there was a group of young pups in the enclosure, and a docent standing outside.  She explained to me that the pups were the young of the two dominant dogs and that the beta male, the pup’s uncle, was actually submissive to them.  She was there to feed the dogs and as I watched the fully grown uncle stood aside and allowed the pups to eat before he did.  The docent also mentioned that the dominant dogs would leave the uncle to pup-sit while they were away hunting, and in that way he earned his food.

There remain in the wild somewhere between 3,000 and 5,500 African Wild Dogs where once there were 500,000.  The dogs are threatened by habitat loss and by the need of farmers to protect their flocks.

Please help the CZS Conservation Fund with their efforts to protect these and other endangered animals by clicking the link to my fundraising page-

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