Probably the most distinctive feature of the African wild dog is its big, round ears. They’re nothing like a domestic dog’s.
They’re nothing like a wolf’s either, yet this beautiful Cape hunting dog, or painted dog as it’s also known, is given the Latin name Lycaon pictus, meaning ‘painted wolf-like animal’, because it is closest in nature to a wolf.
Their hide is different from a dog’s too – covered with irregular patches of black, brown, red, white and yellow fur. Wild dogs have a black, furrow-like vertical line on the forehead between the eyes that is rather endearing. And they have only four toes per foot, unlike the five toes of domestic dogs.
Catching a glimpse of one is difficult. The wild dog is southern Africa’s most endangered large carnivore, and has all but disappeared from most of its original range… Continued