4 wild dog puppies were born on February 13 at the African Reserve, in Aude. The young are starting to emerge from their burrow and are now visible to the public.
For the past few days, the new residents of the African Reserve have come out of their den. They are 4, lycaon puppies born on the spot and aged a month and a half.
video length: 10sec
4 wild dog puppies at the African Reserve
©Ophelie Le Piver/FTV
First steps that visitors can now admire. “They are dogs with lots of colors”raves the young Leïla who came with her parents and her sister, Inès. “There are parents and babies,” rejoices the youngest. “These are hyenas !”
Hyenas? No ! Dogs. But the misunderstanding is frequent in the public. “The lycaon is not a hyena, it is not the same family”specifies Gabriel De Jesus, the director of public relations of the African Reserve. “The lycaon is a wild dog, it is also called the painted wolf because of the spots it has on it and it is moreover in relation to these spots, to this spotted coat that visitors confuse with the hyena. The hyena, he is a hyaenid, it has nothing to do with dogs. It’s true that people confuse them, it’s very similar but in terms of weight it’s not at all the same, the hyena is much bigger, the jaw is much more prominent, so they are very different animals. ”
The African wild dog is a species living in the steppes and African savannahs. For years, this canine has been a victim of the destruction of its territory. Hit by cars, made ill by stray dogs, it is also hunted excessively in Africa as was the case in Europe for the wolf. Because the lycaon attacks the herds. But today, the animal is endangered.
Today there are only 6,000 left in the wild and only 1,400 breeders because it produces its young in a very particular way. “In lycaons, we talk about a system with an alpha couple”explains Séverine Jancek, the educational manager of the African Reserve. “So it’s a particular hierarchy where there is only one pair among all the individuals who reproduce, so a male and a female who choose each other and then the rest of the pack whether they are males or females is completely devoted to this alpha pair and will not breed. The young of the alpha pair will be completely taken care of by the entire pack.”
This is the third year in a row that this couple, Nidalee and Jims, have given birth to babies. All of them live in packs in their enclosure. With these 4 puppies, the birth season is off to a good start at the African Reserve, which expects many more in the weeks to come.