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Lycaon pictus 

Actual scientific name :   Lycaon pictus 
Old scientific name :    
French name :   Lycaon; Cynhyène; Loup peint; Chien sauvage africain
English name :   African wild dog; African hunting dog
Vernacular name :  
Mbwa na ditu (Tshiluba); Pumpi, Lubwa (Kiluba) ; Muponda (Kitabwa); Mupundu (Kiholoholo); Musuka (Kikaonde); Mbulu, mâle = Mumbulu (Kilala); Umumbulu (Kilamba); Kangwidi (Lunda)


Call :  
Description :   Body is irregularly blotched with brown, red, black, yellow and white. Each dogl has a different coat. Muzzle is blackish. The bushy tail is white-tipped. There is a black line running from muzzle to between ears. Ears are large and rounded. Body is slender. Head is massive. Legs are long.
Length : between 105 and 150 cm (with an average tail of 35 cm). Shoulder height: 75 cm. Weight: between 18 to 36 kg.  
Habitat :   Open or wooded savannah, miombo woodland.
Used to be quite common in Katanga, has been considered extinct for years.
However, since 2003, a few observations have been made around Kiniama. 
Behaviour :   Diurnal and gregarious, living in packs of 7 to 15 (up to 40). Each pack is dominated by an alpha pair. There are more males than females in a pack. Females emigrate from their native pack more often than males. Females often leave their pack at the age of 2 and a half to join a pack with no adult females. About half of the young males remain in their father’s pack. The other half leaves their native pack to form a new pack.
Members from a pack cooperate to look after young, wounded or sick individuals. When dogs come back from a hunt, they regurgitate to feed young, wounded and sick individuals as well as adults that could not go hunting. There is rivalry among adult female for top breeding position and they happen to fight.
Hunting is done by the pack. Dogs are nomadic and live on home ranges varying 200 to 2000 km^2. During breeding season packs ranges contract and dogs usually live in a den big enough to contain the whole pack. 
Diet :   Mostly antelopes such as impala and Common Duiker. Also feed on small mammals and birds. 
Life history :   There is usually only one mating pair per pack. They reach their sexual maturity around 12 or 18 months but only start breeding around 22 months. After a gestation period of about 10 weeks, the alpha female gives birth to 2 to 20 pups. The pups remain in the den with their mother for 3 to 4 weeks. They are fed by regurgitation for a whole year.
Distribution in Katanga :   view map  
History, Ethnology, Sociology
Interactions with humans :   For a long time, has been considered as a danger for the fauna of the national parks and for the domestic livestock. Was so heavily hunted that it disappeared. 
Taboos :    
Legends, believes, folklore :   Wandamba of the ancient African East always released lycaons that had fallen in pits because they considered them as colleague hunters to whom they could sometimes subtilize the prey which they had hunted. 
Fishing, hunting :   The lycaon was hunted because concidered as harmful. Was killed by means of traps and of poisoned baits. It is not an animal traditionally hunted and it is not a trophy looked for by leisure hunters.
It is totally protected.  
Feeding :   No ethnic group of Katanga consumes this animal.  
Breeding, taming :   Some cases of taming are known. Some peoples have abandoned the experiment because of the reppeling of these animals.  
Uses of skin or other body parts :    

Warning :

This database was established according to official pieces of work and with the help of famous scientists. However, there might be some errors.

The vernacular names were collected in the field and in the colonial literature from the first part of the 20th century. The monks who established the first dictionaries were not necessarily informed naturalists. Therefore, errors must have been committed.

We invite everyone who could help us to improve this working tool to contact us in order to correct us and share her/his knowledge with us.

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