Rescued Wild Dog tries to bite water
The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as African Painted Dog, is one of the most endangered mammals in the world! It was been considered endangered for over twenty years, and with an estimate of about 6,600 remaining in the wild. They are not only shot or poisoned by farmers, for being accused of killing livestock, but their main threat is habitat fragmentation, which not only subjects them to disease outbreaks, but increases the human-wild dog conflict.
Their scientific name means "painted dog", due to their mottled coat, which has brown, yellow, white and black colors. And even though that is true for every Wild Dog, each of them will have a unique pattern, which makes them easy to be visually identified. Unlike other canids, they have no underfur, and it's entirely consisted of stiff bristle-hairs. The fur is gradually lost with age, making old individuals nearly bald.
Wild Dogs are highly social animals, and almost exclusively live in packs, usually of up to ten individuals, but packs with over 40 members have been recorded. A lone Wild Dog has a very slim chance of survival, and packs don’t accept new members. There is monogamous alpha mating pair in charge of the pack, but the pups are the ones who get to feed first, and the rest of the group has to patiently wait for their turn. The pack shares a very strong bond and when a member is injured or ill, and is unable to hunt, the other ones will care for it and feed it, making sure it doesn't die.
Because the pack has such a coordinated nature, they have a 80% success rate with hunts, making them extremely effective predators! Because they communicate so well, they are even able to change strategy during a hunt.