OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR & FREE

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OPEN 365 DAYS A YEAR & FREE

Location, Hours & Directions

African Wild Dog Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Lycaon pictus
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Carnivora
  • Range

    Once found widely throughout Africa's savannas, African wild dogs are now limited to small ranges within sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Status

    African wild dogs are endangered due to habitat loss, human hunting and disease. They require large areas of land to find prey and are thus vulnerable to the loss of habitat to farming as well as the fencing off of land. Lincoln Park Zoo participates in the African Wild Dog Species Survival Plan®, a shared conservation effort by zoos throughout the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

  • Habitat

    African wild dogs prefer savannas, but they can also occupy deserts and mountain areas.

  • Niche

    African wild dogs live and hunt in packs ranging from 2-30 members; a typical pack has seven-eight adults. These packs move widely over their range seeking prey. By cooperating in the hunt, these predators are able to capture much larger animals, including gazelles, impalas and even zebras. The cooperation of the pack extends to sharing food with sick or injured adults.

  • Life History

    African wild dog packs display a strict hierarchy, with both a dominant male and dominant female emerging. These two individuals are typically the only members of the pack to breed. Females compete fiercely for this privilege. Parenting duties are shared by the pack, with each individual contributing to protect the young and share food with them.

  • Special Adaptations

    African wild dogs display a variety of behaviors to reinforce their social bond. A notable one is the mid-day greeting, where pack members gather to vocalize and thrust their muzzles in one another's faces.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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Lincoln Park Zoo will close at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 29 for Bites, Blooms & Bordeaux! We apologize for any inconvenience.