The Dhole (Cuon alpinus)

The dhole (Cuon alpinus) is a species of canid native to South and Southeast Asia. It is also known variously as the Asiatic Wild Dog, Indian Wild Dog and Red Dog. It is the only extising member of the genus Cuon, as its biological differences (numbers of teeth and teats) separate it from the other True Dogs (candini) such as the wolves, wild dogs, foxes, jackals and domestic dogs.

They are highly social animals, living in large groups which will split up into small packs to hunt. It is these hunting groups that I have had the good fortune to photograph and video in The Eastern Forest Complex.

It primarily preys on medium-sized ungulates (deer) and is found where these prey species occur although a search of the internet indicates that they will take much larger prey also. I have noted that they are constantly active when searching out prey and move swiftly, investigating trails, sub trails and leads by smell. From my own photographs I have noted that the groups I have photographed have been between 2 and 4 animals.

Their global population is estimated at only 2500 adults and is in decline. Classified as "endangered" by the IUCN and are a rare sight in Thailand although a pack has been observed quite regulary at dusk at Khao Yai's Mo Sing To reservoir. You may just get lucky like we did.........

Photo of dhole in Thailand

Wild dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Khao Yai National Park

Photo of dhole in Thailand

Wild dhole (Cuon alpinus) on the hunt of a Sambar deer in Khao Yai National Park

Photo of dhole in Thailand

Wild dhole pair (Cuon alpinus) hunting in the Eastern Forest Complex

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