How Pet Dogs Are Helping Out Their Endangered Kin in the Wild
Florida canines have successfully tested collars that may help African wild dogs avoid dying in snares.
It's a gruesome scenario that happens all too often: A pack of African wild dogs, led by its alpha pair, is on the hunt, bounding through the savanna after a prey animal. But the chase suddenly ends when a pack member is caught in an illegal trap set by bush-meat poachers.
As the dog struggles to escape, the circular wire clenches tighter around its neck. More often than not, this means certain death, either from strangulation or serious injury.
But that’s not all.
“Instead of all the pack running away, they all try to help it,” says conservation biologist Gregory Rasmussen, director of Painted Dog Research Trust, a Zimbabwe-based nonprofit. “And poachers don’t just set one snare—they set a