The African Wild Dog, also known as the painted dog, is one of the most fascinating creatures in the world. These animals are famously known for their strong social bonds and cooperative behavior. They spend most of their time either resting or lying together in bodily contact way; although both pups and adults tend to lie under separate trees.
These animals also prefer to move from one place to another as they don’t stay in one particular location for long. Prior to moving off, the members of a pack have to indulge in a conspicuous greeting ceremony that includes dogs gamboling and chittering. They also muzzle and lick each other’s mouths. This behavior helps them to strengthen their social bonds and reinforce their social hierarchies within the group. Licking also serves as a hygiene function, helping them to clean the fur and skin of pack members.
As they proceed to new territories, the male dogs often try to find themselves new mates from different established packs. But this process usually doesn’t come without injuries as several competing males have to battle each other out resulting in severe injuries on the face and head. Basically, the victorious alpha male and the top-ranking female are the ones that can mate and breed within a pack.
The top-ranking female usually gives birth to a litter of 2 to 20 pups, which are often taken care of by the non-breeding dogs. They contribute to the general welfare of the pups by feeding them regurgitated meat at the den as well as guarding them especially when some of the other members are away.
Social interactions are also common among African Wild Dogs, as they tend to communicate with each other through touch, actions, and vocalizations. They also use a rich social language as a way of coordinating their hunting strategies, caring for pups, and maintaining a tight-knit pack structure.
They are truly fascinating animals and a reminder of the incredible social bonds that can exist in the animal kingdom. Even as they continue to captivate us with their unique appearance, cooperative behavior, and social lifestyles a lot still needs to be done to protect them from extinction.
GET IN TOUCH
To contact an expert travel planner to start planning your adventure in Kenya, click the button below: