Indian wild dog sighted in Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary. Photo: Hemant Rout
A rare and endangered species of Indian wild dog has been seen this week, encouraging scientists and forest offiicials. The Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus) was spotted inside Kuldiha wildlife sanctuary in India. The critically endangered species are found in in Himalayas, Trans-Himalayas and peninsular India regions. Their population is around 1000 and the Odisha's Balasore district, where the dog was seen, is suspected of having around 35 of the wild animals.
Forest officials said there are probably another 3 to 4 more of the dogs in the reserve forest as they live in packs and hunt together. The wild dogs prefer to live in dense forests. Wildlife authorities are encouraged as the sighting indicates a healthy forest habitat. However, the endangered wild dogs are still threatened by poachers and human activity.
Forest officers are taking measures to safeguard the animals. They are monitoring for forest fires and stepped up anti-poaching efforts. They will also be setting up cameras to track the pack's movements.
The Indian wild dog is also known as Asiatic wild dog and referred to as Dhole locally. The wild dogs are considered one of the most successful hunters in India's wilderness. The packs are known to be fearless and have attacked large and dangerous animals such as wild boar, water buffalo and even tigers. However, their prey is commonly deer. They are carnivores and hunt primarily in the daytime, usually selecting male animals as their prey. Spotted deer are their most favorite prey, but they also hunt animals like mouse deer, swamp deer, wild boar, cattle, and goats.
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