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We’ve got some pretty “wild” winners for this month’s Kids Zooworks contest! Check out these inspiring entries featured in Zoobooks Wild Dogs. Their amazing creativity really shows off each artist’s wonderful knowledge about the different kinds of wild dogs around the world. Which entry is your favorite?
Despite their simple name, African wild dogs are fascinating animals, and the Bronx Zoo knows all about these endangered canines. Even though they are only distantly related, African wild dogs have similar characteristics to domestic dogs and wolves, such as their social nature and pack mentality. They often interact with one another through elaborate “greeting ceremonies,” which include face licking, tail wagging, squealing, and roughhousing. They are also known as “painted dogs” because of their brown, black, and white-dappled fur. No two African wild dogs have the same color pattern on their fur, which makes it easy to identify individuals.
African wild dogs can give birth to litters of 6 to 12 pups, but may have as many as 18. The entire pack helps take care of the pups, which are born between March and June, and do not open their eyes until nearly two weeks after birth. By the time they are a year old, the pups are able to hunt and run 48 mph for over an hour at a time.
There are many kinds of wild dogs in the world. They include wolves, coyotes, jackals, and foxes. While foxes mainly live and hunt alone, wolves, coyotes, jackals, and other wild dogs are well known for their group coordination. These well organized groups are known as packs. Within each pack of wild dogs is a specific canine leader who makes decisions and settles arguments between members of the group. Packs of wild dogs raise their young together, with every adult raising and caring for the pups. Wolf packs, for example, often leave an older female wolf behind to babysit when the rest must go out and hunt.
While wolves and other wild dogs are perfectly able to hunt small prey alone, hunting bigger animals such as caribou, zebras, and other large prey may take the whole pack. For example, the short African wild dog sometimes forms packs of up to 60 or more in order to hunt zebra. Packs often use special strategies for separating weak or young individuals away from the herd. During a hunt, each pack member has a specific job, either chasing, startling, or stealthily trapping large prey.