Hunting

Wild dogsWild dogs are active at dawn and dusk. They are coursing predators, which means that they kill after running down their prey, in their case after a hunt that averages about 600 meters. They kill through disembowelment, There has been a lot of contention over their killing technique, and this has led to their demonisation and persecution and much of their elimination from their former range.

Fortunately, today such prejudices are disappearing, and people now acknowledge the important role these remarkable predators play in the ecosystem. Because their hunting technique focuses on weaker prey (unlike stalking predators that rely on surprise rather than endurance), wild dogs tend to remove the old and sick, and hence keep prey populations healthy.

Wild dogs take a wide range of prey from hares to adult zebra or juvenile buffalo, many times their body weight. However in most areas, impala and wildebeest are the most commonly taken prey.

Wild dogs often lose their kills to spotted hyaenas where the density of these predators is high. They very rarely scavenge, possibly because of the danger of meeting other larger carnivores at kills.