Lowveld Wild Dog Project

Garden Tiger Moth photographed by Gabor Pozsgai Visit www.photogabor.com This page has been mothballed.

It is no longer being updated but we've left it here for reference.

Further information



  • Each wild dog will consume on average 2 - 3 kg of meat per day. The maximum amount that one wild dog has been recorded eating is 9kg in one meal (one third of their body weight!).
  • Wild dogs almost exclusively kill small to medium sized antelope, 25 - 150kg. They have been reported taking prey as large as an adult zebra but this is rare. Their most common prey throughout southern Africa is the impala antelope which make up nearly 80% of the wild dogs diet.
  • It is likely that, when hunting, the dogs rely upon chance encounters of prey animals. The pack will set off at a trot to go hunting and then chase any potential prey animal that they encounter along the way. As a result, the composition of a wild dogs diet often seems to reflect the proportions in which prey species populations occur within the area i.e. where impala are abundant as is the case throughout southern Africa, this is the common prey. In the Serengeti where Thompson's gazelle are the most abundant antelope, this was the wild dogs' common prey.
  • Figure 1. shows the proportion of different animals occurring in the diet of wild dogs from Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, southern Africa. It can be seen that impala forms the largest proportion of the wild dogs diet with kudu being the next most important species.
  • Wild dogs will very seldom kill more than they are able to eat. As with most predators they are able to gorge themselves when meat is abundant taking in up to 9 kg of meat. In this situation, the stomach will be hugely distended rendering the dogs unable to hunt until the majority of the meat has been digested.