Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Return of the Wild Dog

The kill was large and about ten wild dogs were at it. How they managed to kill a large cattle is not a big surprise knowing the nature of this amazing canid. The wild dog in India is known as Dhole in Hindi and has other vernacular names.

During the sixties the number had gone down severely as it had a bounty on its head. In Kanha National Park they were killed in order to reduce Cheetal fawn predation. I have been visiting Kanha since the seventies and in recent times the dhole is being seen frequently at Kisli, Kanha and Mukki Zone.

This is one dog that does not bark, it communicates through whistles with other members of the pack.  The nature of its predation makes it a local migratory creature. For they surprise the deer, chase it and consume often on the run itself. With such open and shut hunting the area is soon devoid of prey. The animals presence also unnerves the tigers and other predators.

Changing places accords greater opportunity to hunt albeit I have seen dhole to stay for a longer time in high prey density area. The wild dog is encountered in buffer zone as well. The incident that I have described took place near the Kanha Village Eco Resort at Boda Chappri. Incidentally this were I came across a leopard kill earlier.  

The trans migratory nature makes it difficult to understand population dynamics of this creature. The pack can inhabit any good forest patch near rural settlements in Madhya Pradesh. 
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