Scientifically named the Lycaon pictus, meaning ‘painted wolf-like animal’, the African Wild Dog is definitely a must-see when travelling around Africa. Africa’s Wild Dog is slowly being pushed closer and closer to extinction, making these sightings rarer by the day. Many have been wiped about by the destruction of their homes and natural habitat, by diseases like rabies and “canine distemper” which can be caught from domestic animals, as well as some of the human population who view them as pests. The presence of the Wild Dog in any environment suggests that an ecosystem is healthy – conservation goes hand in hand with the survival of many other animals who call the same ecosystem their home, as well as the survival of the land. This makes the Wild Dog a ‘flagship species.’ Wild Dogs are very well-known for their incredibly strong family bonds; they look after their pups and the sick, and depend a lot on each other for survival. If you are lucky enough to witness their interaction with a new litter, you are bound to see the peaceful and co-operative behaviour amongst the entire pack. The pups of Wild Dogs are born every year usually between the months of March and June. A litter could amount to as many as 16, and they can live for up to 10 years, but sadly not all will make it. Wild Dogs used to be present across sub-Saharan African, from East to West and all the way down to the bottom of South Africa. Today, you would be lucky to spot Wild Dogs in West and Central Africa, as most can be found in southern and south-eastern Africa. However, packs are now rather isolated from each other. We hope that your stay at Zambezi Grande offers you more insight into these fascinating animals, and how they pose no threat to us humans if we just let them be.