The Swift Fox & The African Wild Dog

African Wild Dogs

They are also called Cape hunting dogs or painted dogs, and typically roam the open plains and sparse woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa.

African wild dogs live in packs that are usually dominated by a monogamous breeding pair. The female has a litter of 2 to 20 pups, which are cared for by the entire pack. These dogs are very social, and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members.

Larger packs were more common before the dogs became endangered. Packs hunt antelopes and will also tackle much larger prey, such as wildebeests. The dogs supplement their diet with rodents and birds. As human settlements expand, the dogs have sometimes developed a taste for livestock.

African wild dogs are endangered, and they are faced with more habitat loss. They are also quite susceptible to diseases spread by domestic animals.

The Swift Fox

The swift fox is considered the smallest canid in North America. Weighing between 4-6 pounds, they are the size of a typical house cat.The swift fox gets its name because it can reach speeds of 25 miles (40 km) per hour.

Unlike many canids, the swift fox is almost completely nocturnal and hunts continually from dusk to dawn. Swift foxes prey on small mammals such as mice, rats, squirrels, and rabbits. Other prey items include birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and occasionally vegetation.

These lone hunters were most likely given their descriptive name because of their ability to outrun certain sure-footed prey species such as jackrabbits. Swift foxes form monogamous pairs which remain together throughout most of the year.

Historically, the range of the swift fox extended southward from central Alberta through the Great Plains to west central Texas. Habitats selected by swift fox are prairies with level to gently rolling topography. In more recent years, some swift foxes have shown the ability to adapt to changing landscapes by denning in cultivated fields and along fence rows.

In 1998, the Endangered Wolf Center received its first pair of swift fox from the Fort Worth Zoo, which has been spearheading captive conservation efforts.