Category: Carnivores

Location: Foot Safari

Bush dogs are a member of the canid family originally from Central and South America, and are the smallest wild pack hunting dog on the planet. There is much debate as to which species is their closest living relative, however many believe it could either be the Maned Wolf from South America, or African Hunting Dog.


A Bush Dog's Call

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Bush dogs stand at only 12-15″ tall,  which is about the same height as a basset hound! Although they may be small in stature, these carnivores are adept at taking down prey including capybaras, armadillos and even rhea, which can grow up to 5 feet tall! Packs consist of a single mated pair and their offspring, who all work together to hunt both on land and in water! Their webbed toes make them great swimmers – this unique skill also allows them to live in areas where many other predators cannot survive, such as lowland forest where flooding often occurs.

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Two bush dogs overlooking their den

At it’s heaviest, a bush dog wouldn’t usually weigh any more than 18lbs!

Bush dog pups are born with all black fur, and they develop the lovely reddish brown colourings as they reach maturity.

This pack animal hunts co-operatively, using half of the group flushes the prey out on land, while the other half waits in the water to ambush!

Bush dog pregnancies usually last between 9 – 11 weeks, and usually produce a litter of 4 pups.

Packs usually consist of around 10-12 bush dogs.

Bush dogs are native to Central and Southern America.

They’re very versatile, meaning they’re able to survive in a range of habitats, but ideally they like dense foliage and wetlands!

Bush dogs are carnivores, which means they’re meat eaters.

Their usual prey consists of rodents such as  paca and capybara, birds like the rhea.

Bush dogs are classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List, which means the wild population is rapidly reducing and may well be considered threatened in the near future.

The largest threat to bush dogs is human expansion and tourism in natural habitats.

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