Dhole or Wild Dog

The Dhole, Commonly known as the Wild Dog, is a unique one of its kind. Living in packs, fearsome gangs of Dholes can bring down stags larger than themselves, and are known for their torturous killing techniques!
One late evening last year, while returning from a safari, near the Tiger Bund at Kabini, we encountered a pack of Dholes feeding on a Cheetal. Their killing tactics are gruesome. Not built with large jaws to kill with a single bite on the neck or throat like tigers or leopards, these dogs surround their hapless prey and bite chunks of their flesh from the rear, strangely while the animal is still alive!!!.

The family of 12 that we sighted had literally bled the Cheetal to death. Some of them were lazing around, getting ready for the night. The lighting was dim and these were the only decent pictures we could manage, given extremely poor lighting conditions. The bulging belly of this Dhole indicates it has had a full meal and is content!
 Some Interesting ‘Dhole’ snippets:
The Dhole has some extraordinary vocal calls – it can whistle, scream, mew, and even cluck like a chicken.
 It can urinate while standing on its two front legs!
 Sometimes, it forms temporary packs of over 40 animals.
 It breeds communally with most pack members, and helps to feed or guard its pups.
 When hunting as a pack, it can subdue prey over 10 times its body weight, and even take on a tiger!
 It exploits a variety of habitats ranging from tropical rain forests and dry-deciduous jungles, to cold alpine forests and   
 open plains.
 It has an amazing capacity to jump to a vertical height of at least 2.3 metres (7.5 ft)!
 Its dental structure is unique considering the family of canines to which it belongs.
 It is a capable swimmer and often drives its prey into water.

 In a detailed account written by W. Connell, two shikaris (hunting guides) watched a pack of 22 wild dogs drive a tiger into a dry streambed. The tiger eventually positioned himself with his back against a large tree, where he sat snarling at the dogs. During a moment when the tiger’s attention wavered, the dogs attacked, swarming all over the big cat within seconds! Five dogs were killed or seriously injured during this first assault. However, the tiger was also wounded; its ears were tattered and one eye was closed. (Source: Connell, W. 1944. Wild Dogs Attacking a Tiger. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society).
Over the next hour, the dogs continued to harass the tiger, then attacked it again. Following this struggle, the tiger struggled to remain upright. On the third and final attack, the dogs succeeded in disemboweling the tiger, and it succumbed to its injuries. The observers counted 13 dead wild dogs at the end of the carnage. (Source: Connell, W. 1944. Wild Dogs Attacking a Tiger. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society).

Popular posts from this blog

The Magician of Masinagudi

When a tripod saved my life!!

Writing - Eating out in Chennai