I first came across this book during a photographic safari in Botswana during which I became intrigued by the African Wild Dog (or Painted Wolf, as the species is also known). The species is endangered and only some 6,000 animals remain world-wide. These "dogs" are not either dogs or wolves as we know them, but rather an independent species that cannot interbreed with what we know as "dogs" or "wolves". The book was so good that ordering this book was one of my first priorities on returning to the US. The book is written by individuals who spent years tracking packs of animals. The photographs are exceptionally good--they are taken at all times of day and in both close-up and at a distance. The book is organized well and discusses the dog itself as well as its pack rules, its playfulness, how socially interactive it is, how it hunts and what it hunts, how its prey has learned to escape, what hunts these dogs, and a variety of other topics. Throughout...
Rated 4 stars only because it is old and basically out of print. I feel lucky to add this to my collection of African Wild Dog information. The seller's information was accurate and the book shipped fast to me. This book took 4 years to produce and contains absolutely stunning images of the wild dogs and their prey, as well as a superb scientific discourse on the life cycle of this endangered animal. More importantly, it accurately describes the challenges that exist across 4 countries (nearly the size of the U.S.) in the long term effort to maintain the species as a viable part of teh southern African ecology. I highly recommend it for anyone just for the photos and images, and its outstanding scientifically-based documentation is ideal for students of the African Wild Dog.
A terrific book for all types of nature-loving readers. If you like pictures, they're here. If you want the best information available about African Wild Dogs and efforts to save them, it's definitely here. All people who are fascinated by wild animals will find this book to be a treasure. The photography is beautiful...It's the next best thing to being there. Leave this book on your coffee table and I guarantee that every guest will pick it up. These animals truly are in trouble. McNutt does a good job explaining exactly why these dogs are endangered (or should be classified as such). Like most books published under Smithsonian, this one is a keeper.
Edit: I am reading this book again in 2014...it is somehow even better now. What a beauty! I will own this book until the day I die.
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