Bush dogs (Speothos venaticus) are the only extant members of the Spethos genus. They are small canids native to many lowland forests in South America. Despite their extensive range, bush dogs are quite rare, with the current population estimated to be about 15,000.
Roughly the size of a fox, bush dogs usually weigh 11-18lbs and have short legs and a small snout in proportion to the size of their bodies. They are semi-aquatic and have webbed feet that allow them to swim and dive easily. Like all canids, bush dogs are carnivores. They primarily hunt small rodents, but can bring down much larger animals such as tapirs when hunting in packs.
Bush dogs live in tropical forests or wet savannahs often near a water source. They usually den in a hollow log or abandoned armadillo burrow. The typical bush dog family unit may consist of up to twelve individuals with only one reproducing female. The remaining females in the group help care for pups, usually born in a litter of four. Bush dogs can live for up to 10 years in the wild.
BUSH DOG FACTS
The bush dog is also sometimes referred to as the savannah dog or the vinegar dog.
Once thought to be dependent on forests, bush dogs are now known to survive in almost any habitat close to water.
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