Cuon – Dhole

Extinct in Europe and North America probably due to landscape changes during the ice age and currently can only be found in Asia

Also known as the Asian wild dog, the dhole is an intriguing and highly social member of the Canidae family. It exhibits remarkable adaptations for life in diverse habitats across Asia.

Dholes boast a dense and thick fur coat that varies in color across their range, from greyish-brown to dark reddish-brown and pale golden-yellow, demonstrating their adaptability to various environments. The underparts, including the throat, chest, belly, and insides of the legs, feature white or lighter shades, providing a striking contrast. Their expressive amber eyes are set within a face that exudes keen intelligence and alertness. A bushy tail with a darkly colored tip, often black, adds to its distinctive appearance and is used for communication within the pack.

One of the most notable aspects of dhole life is their complex social structure and cooperative hunting strategy. Living and hunting in packs that can number over ten individuals, dholes have developed an efficient method to communicate and coordinate during hunts, utilizing a variety of vocal calls that are unique among canids. Their social cohesion is further demonstrated in their care for the young, with the entire pack participating in feeding and protecting the pups.

Dholes primarily hunt during the early morning hours, leveraging their keen sense of sight rather than relying heavily on nocturnal hunting. This diurnal habit suggests a reliance on visual cues for tracking and capturing prey. Their diet is diverse, targeting a range of animals from small rodents to large ungulates, and their hunting success is significantly enhanced by their teamwork, with members of the pack playing different roles to outmaneuver and overpower their prey.