Big 5s

Teeku Patel

Photographer

“For me, the most coveted sighting is the African wild dog or Cape hunting dog. I prefer to call them painted wolves or painted dogs. Lycaon pictus, means ‘painted wolf,’ referring to the animal’s irregular, mottled coat, which features patches of red, black, brown, white and yellow fur. Each animal has its own unique coat pattern and big, rounded ears.
Most visitors to Africa come for the lions, elephants, and rhinos. Though there are the hardy few that will search in the remote regions of Africa for the elusive wild dog.

Playful, yet ruthless, these pack animals are highly intelligent and social, often seen bringing back food for an injured member of the pack. When they have pups, one member of the pack, if not the mother, will stay by the den looking over the pups, while the rest of pack go out to hunt. Once back, the adults will then regurgitate food in order to feed the pups.
Being cursorial hunters, wild dogs are proficient killers, chasing down their prey to exhaustion. It’s fascinating to watch how a pack works in unison, even at great speed and over rugged terrain. Members of the pack vocalize to help coordinate their movements. Their voice is characterized by an unusual chirping or squeaking sound, similar to a bird.

These odd-shaped, oversized-eared, lanky-legged creatures are a pleasure to watch, whether it’s the pups playing or watching a hunt.

Once so common in Africa, painted dogs were shot as vermin. Less than 5000 remain today. Major threats to this species are habitat fragmentation, road casualties, poisoning, or snaring, the spread of distemper and rabies from domestic dogs, and competition for prey by larger carnivores.

In spite of their ecological importance as top predator and their value to Africa’s tourism industry, remarkably little conservation action has been implemented for this species to date. The majority of Africa’s protected areas are too small to conserve viable populations, and active conservation efforts on unprotected lands have hitherto been restricted to a handful of projects.”

www.teekupatel.com
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Photo by Teeku Patel

My Big 5

    African Wild Dog
    Leopard
    Cheetah
    Tiger
    Lion

Teeku Patel

Photographer

“For me, the most coveted sighting is the African wild dog or Cape hunting dog. I prefer to call them painted wolves or painted dogs. Lycaon pictus, means ‘painted wolf,’ referring to the animal’s irregular, mottled coat, which features patches of red, black, brown, white and yellow fur. Each animal has its own unique coat pattern and big, rounded ears.
Most visitors to Africa come for the lions, elephants, and rhinos. Though there are the hardy few that will search in the remote regions of Africa for the elusive wild dog.

Playful, yet ruthless, these pack animals are highly intelligent and social, often seen bringing back food for an injured member of the pack. When they have pups, one member of the pack, if not the mother, will stay by the den looking over the pups, while the rest of pack go out to hunt. Once back, the adults will then regurgitate food in order to feed the pups.
Being cursorial hunters, wild dogs are proficient killers, chasing down their prey to exhaustion. It’s fascinating to watch how a pack works in unison, even at great speed and over rugged terrain. Members of the pack vocalize to help coordinate their movements. Their voice is characterized by an unusual chirping or squeaking sound, similar to a bird.

These odd-shaped, oversized-eared, lanky-legged creatures are a pleasure to watch, whether it’s the pups playing or watching a hunt.

Once so common in Africa, painted dogs were shot as vermin. Less than 5000 remain today. Major threats to this species are habitat fragmentation, road casualties, poisoning, or snaring, the spread of distemper and rabies from domestic dogs, and competition for prey by larger carnivores.

In spite of their ecological importance as top predator and their value to Africa’s tourism industry, remarkably little conservation action has been implemented for this species to date. The majority of Africa’s protected areas are too small to conserve viable populations, and active conservation efforts on unprotected lands have hitherto been restricted to a handful of projects.”

Photo by Teeku Patel

My Big 5

    African Wild Dog
    Leopard
    Cheetah
    Tiger
    Lion

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