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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

Tom Svensson

Sep29

A six year search for wild dogs...

By Tom Svensson, Tuesday September 29, 2015
Adult wild dog walking straight towards the camera.

Adult wild dog walking straight towards the camera. © Tom Svensson

One of my favourite animals is the african wild dog and I have been trying to see them in the wild for six years. Yes, OK, I have seen them in game reserves but I was longing to see them properly in the big wilderness.

Wild dogs are an endangered species with only 6600 left in the world, so they are almost as endangered as tigers. They are very sociable animals and you can find packs of up to 30-40 of them.

The one I found was from a pack of 26. I was so extremely lucky to find them as they were on the way out on a hunt. Dogs are much better hunters than big cats which have a hit rate of about 20% compared to dogs at around 80%. From the start of a day's hunt until there was nothing left of the carcass, takes less than 15 minutes.

I'm sorry to say but the biggest threat to these dogs are habitat loss and lions, who will kill them if they get a chance. We need to show people how wonderful these dogs are to make sure we don’t lose them. I really hope my grandchildren will be able to see them in the wild...

One of this year's wild dog puppies.

One of this year's wild dog puppies. © Tom Svensson

From the time the wild dogs started the hunt to this took less than 15 minutes...

From the time the wild dogs started the hunt to this took less than 15 minutes... © Tom Svensson