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Eaten Alive !

Wild dogs eat their exhausted prey alive !

wild dog pack
African Wild Dog Pack. Photo by Ivan Horvat from Pixabay.

The African wild dog is extremely social interacting with other members of the pack and even caring for weaker members in the pack when weak or ill. They are nomadic by nature covering vast swathes of territory.

The African wild dog hunts by sight so this is normally dawn or dusk, which is also cooler and they also hunt on occasion in the night if a full moon. Running is their specialty, running their prey to exhaustion before tearing it apart. A wild dog is normally thought of as the endurance athlete that drops into that rhythm that can keep going for hours. Few people realize that this animal is capable of a good burst of speed when needed, up to 44 mph (71 km/h) which matches that of a greyhound!

wild dog on the move
Wild dog on the move. Photo by David Mark from Pixabay.

The wild dogs will normally approach a herd and then spook them by a short charge, then look for the weaker animal as the herd panics. The leader will chase the chosen prey with the other dogs trailing. The chase can involve a relay approach which involves alternating the lead dog but this is being debated according to recent studies. They are also known to employ a spacial approach spreading out behind the prey. almost in a limited line abreast formation.

If the prey is relatively small the lead dog will pull it down when it catches up. If the prey is bigger the dog will slash at the rump slowing the animal so the other dogs can catch up.

Once the prey is down it is a vicious spectacle with the dogs literally tearing it apart biting chunks from the animal and disemboweling the prey. The animal will then die from shock and loss of blood. The chase would have taken between 2 and 3 miles (3 and 5 km).

Killer teeth
Wild dog teeth. Photo by Elli Stattaus from Pixabay.

Normally only one female breeds and if another female gives birth the dominant female may take the litter over as if her own or even kill the pups. this keeps the pack at an optimal size. Females give birth in old burrows taken over by the pack. At around two weeks the pups already start to be weaned.

After the hunt the pack regurgitates food for the pups and they will do this for weak or ill adults as well !

5 replies on “Eaten Alive !”

Hi Jane,
Oh no, what an awful start to the day.
It makes one want to intervene but its not what we should do as apparently its better to let nature do what its doing… eradicating the slow and the weak. 😦
A sad scenario though and understandably upsetting.
Thanks for sharing.
Cheers
Grant

Liked by 1 person

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