Their hunting strategy may be formidable but the wild dogs' feeding ritual is by contrast almost gentle. We observed what Vitus termed the ‘feed-me dance’ where the pups would circle and twitter at adults returned from a hunt until they responded by regurgitating impressively large chunks of the kill for them. The pups that didn’t manage to claim their share of the spoils that time around would find a nearby stick - or sibling - to pounce on instead, their white, duster-like tail tips wagging as if to show they knew they would get their fair share from another adult in the group shortly. Observing the tight bonds of the pack in action over the next few days – witnessing their intelligence and their playfulness – felt like such a privilege and I hope that many future generations will have the same opportunity.
How can I help?
The African Wildlife Foundation is working on vital conservation initiatives for wild dogs, including constructing livestock enclosures and engaging scouts. You can find out more
and donate here
If you spot Wild Dogs while on safari, the Tanzania Carnivore Conservation Project at the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) is running a Dog Watch campaign and is looking for photos of Wild Dogs spotted in Tanzania. For details of how to send them your photos, please see here