Also known as Asiatic wild dog / Indian wild dog, been have been hanging around since the last Ice Age. That means they originated over 12,000 years ago and have roamed the planet without facing much in the way of existential problems. Unfortunately, the 20th century changed that. Today, it is given ‘Endangered’ status by IUCN, thanks to habitat loss due to excessive urbanisation.
More on this exceptional hunters below.
Dholes are popular for their social behaviour, they go about doing almost everything in large packs – from a pack size of ten and if get lucky you see forty or more in one pack.
Technically speaking, groups of dholes are considered clans as opposed to packs because animals that run in packs always hunt together. Like hyenas, these endangered dogs will frequently split up into smaller groups in order to hunt more efficiently.
These powerful, smart hunters strategise and execute their game plan capable of hunting down prey 10-30 times their size.
This image is from an early morning safari drive at Nagarhole Tiger reserve in South India. I was particularly lucky that day, getting a chance to not just see them comb the forest for prey but also got a glimpse of their playful behaviour with each other.
More images from this series will follow.