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Cape Hunting Dog (African Wild Dog)


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The Cape Hunting Dog (or African Wild Dog) is a rare wild dog that wanders the plains, grasslands and lowland forests of Africa. It is a very social animal that lives in groups. These wild dogs can run over 30 mph (48 km per hour).

Anatomy: The Cape Hunting Dog has short, spotted fur. It has large ears, sharp eyes, and a keen sense of smell. Adults weigh 45-80 pounds (20-36 kg) and are 30-38 inches (76-112 cm) long. They have a life span of about 11 years.

Hunting and Diet: These wild dogs hunt in packs of 10 to 20 dogs, mostly males. Before the hunt, a pack will make excited sounds and lick each other's faces. These carnivores (meat-eaters) can run down and kill even large mammals, like wildebeest and antelopes. They swallow meat in large chunks. When these wild dogs return to their group, they regurgitate food for young pups and dogs that were not in the hunt. They do not scavenge at all.

Enemies: These dogs are sometimes killed by by lions and leopards, but man has exterminated many of them, calling them pests and bringing them to the brink of extinction.

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