Conservation and tourism circles in Uganda are abuzz with talk of wild dog sightings this week in Kidepo Valley National Park.
It’s with great excitement that we share the news that African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) have been photographed in Narus Valley in Uganda’s most north-easterly protected area. Wild dogs were last seen in Uganda in the 1980s.
What has brought the wild dogs to Narus Valley? And how many individuals are in the pack? A team of Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers are actively searching for them today.
African wild dogs, also known as painted dogs or painted wolves, are “one of Africa’s most interesting animals” according to Richard D. Estes, author of “The Safari companion: guide to watching African mammals.”
– Africa’s largest canids (dogs).
– One of the reasons they are such effective predators is that they can maintain a fast pace for longer than most of their prey. Although an antelope can run faster than a wild dog, wild dogs can keep running twice their distance
– With an 85% hunting success rate, you might understand local people being nervous about having wild dogs in the vicinity of their livestock. However, the real threat is from humans: persecution as “problem animals”, disease and encroachment into wildlife habitats have drastically reduced wild dog numbers across the continent.
Photo by Gilbert Manyimanyi
Kidepo, Pian Upe and Karamoja in north-eastern Uganda may be far from the well-trodden safari routes, but the region has plenty to recommend it. We’re excited for our visitors and safari guides who will surely have their eyes peeled for glimpses of this incredible animal, believed to be extinct in Uganda (until this week!)
Species that you can see in #Kidepo – and nowhere else in Uganda – include cheetah, caracal and bat-eared fox. “Kidepo special birds” include Common ostrich, secretary bird, northern carmine-beeter and dozens more.
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