What Wildlife Shows Don’t Tell You About African Wild Dogs

In the first episode of The Hunt, the recent blockbuster BBC natural history series, a pack of African wild dogs attacks a wildebeest in the grasslands of Zambia. Their ears are flat, their legs pound the grass, their muscles flex beneath beautiful black, white, and orange hides. They work in relay, with fitter dogs taking over from tired runners at the front. “The pack can keep this up for miles; the wildebeest can’t,” says David Attenborough. “Their success will depend on wearing him down on a long chase.”

This is the portrait of African wild dogs that has become enshrined in textbooks, scientific papers, and wildlife documentaries like The Hunt, Life Story, and Planet Earth. They are the ultimate endurance hunters

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