Today’s endangered animal comes to you from southern Africa; specifically northern Botswana, western Zimbabwe, eastern Namibia and western Zambia. The species goes by many names: Painted Hunting dog, African wild dog or the Cape Hunting Dog.
The name Painted Hunting dog is derived from the splotchy markings on the dog’s coat. Each dog has its own unique markings that other pack members are able to identify. African wild dogs grow to be about 30 inches tall (which is a little over 2 feet), be about 30-56 inches long (2 feet-5 feet) and will weigh about 40 to 70 pounds as adults. Their preferred habitat is low grassy areas such as savannas, semi-desert areas or upland forests. African wild dogs are highly social individuals. Pack sizes can average about 10 to 40 or more individuals. Their primary prey are gazelles and antelopes such as the Impala, Greater Kudu and Thomson’s Gazelle. However, they have been known to take down larger prey such as wildebeest and African buffalo. If food is scarce, they’ll go for smaller prey such as hares, lizards and eggs but that’s a very small diet in comparison to what they normally eat. Painted hunting dogs can reach run speeds up to 45 mph.