The Dhole (Cuon alpinus) is also called the Asiatic wild dog and the Indian wild dog. They are mainly red to brown, with darker tails and white or light markings on their foreneck, chest and undersides. They can also be charcoal gray or sandy beige. Their ears are rounded and large. In size they are similar to a border collie. Males weigh 33 to 44 pounds, females, 22 to 29 pounds.
Dholes live in central and eastern Asia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. They live in a variety of habitats: deciduous and evergreen forests, grassland and scrub forest, thorn forests, and alpine steppe.
Dholes are highly social animals and live in packs of about ten dogs. Often there are more males than females in a pack, excluding pups. There is usually one dominant monogamous pair in the pack. The entire pack contributes to the care and feeding of the pups and nursing female. When the pups are mature, about 3 years, the females go off to form another pack.
Dholes maintain a large territory—up to 34 square miles. Hunting by dholes is a community affair. Sometimes a few pack members will wait in ambush, while others drive the prey to the waiting dholes. Other times the pack will surround prey and attack. Dholes might drive prey into water to slow it down. They mainly hunt a variety of deer, wild sheep, goats, but will eat smaller prey, rabbits, rodents, birds, insects. They can kill prey up to 10 times their size!
Fun Dhole Facts
- When hunting dholes communicate with whistles and yips. They also communicate with screams, mews, clucks, growls, whines, and body language.
- Dholes can jump 7 feet straight up! And are good swimmers.
- Females have more teats than other canids and can produce up to 12 pups per litter.
- Dholes are an endangered species.
- Their life span is about 10 years.
- Dholes have 40 teeth, whereas other canid species have 42.
Dhole Home Page
San Diego Zoo
Sudhir Shivaram at thejunglelook