African Wild Dog

Moderators: ritad, RosemaryH, lion queen, Crested Val

User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5599
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: 2545_2815

African Wild Dog

Unread post by wildtuinman »

Studies showed that even in areas where wild dogs are protected and the population is healthy, they occur at very low densities. A healthy wild dog population will typically have a density of approximately one adult dog for every 40 - 50 km2. Which means that the Kruger Park should have about 400 - 500 dogs.

The 1991 and 1992 wild dog census identified only 172 of these animals.

In 1989 the population stood at 357; 434 in 1995 and had dropped to 177 in 2000 (because of the floods??).

It is believed that these fluctuations are natural and the population seems to do better during dry periods when prey is possibly easier to catch which could explain the low number in 2000.

Wild dogs are taking heavy strain from lions and hyaenas, which, as you can remember was one of the problems pointed out on 50-50.

The Park is running a foto competition regarding the conservation of wild dogs, cheetahs and ground hornbills, so everybody please take part and send in those photos. The results will only be made available in May 2005.

Also if it possible, can you guys from the Park do the same with wild dog sightings as with the big 5 sightings maps on this web site?
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1415
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Unread post by francoisd »

Reading this account it is interesting to see how view points has changed during the years.

Wild dogs (the African Hunting Dog) were a great deal more plentiful then than they are now.
They used to congregate in packs of twenty to forty; and, as we regarded them as vermin to be reduced without mercy, they afforded us good sport.
One day, when out with my dogs, I ran into a pack of about twenty and dismounting, I shot three.
The dogs pursued the remainder, who presently turned on them and chased them back to where I was standing.
I continued to fire at them until I had emptied my magazine - hitting one every time since by now they were very close.
then took a spare packet of cartridges from my saddle wallet (I always carried spares there), refilled the magazine, and shot a couple more, and not many of the pack escaped.

It was quite a common experience for a pack of wild dogs to chase a reedbuck, or a bushbuck, right into my camp at M'timba.
It was really extraordinary how the desperately-hunted buck always seemed to sense that I would protect it! I can account for no other reason why they should so often have sought refuge at my camp.
On such occasions I would seize the rifle (which was always standing ready for emergencies), and usually managed to blot out a few of them before the rest of the pack vanished into the bush.

In later years the wild dogs contracted some disease - apparently a form of distemper - that killed them off in hundreds, so that even to this day they remain comparatively scarce throughout the Kruger National Park, and are very seldom seen.

One of my pickets was at a place called Doispane's; and one day, while encamped there, I was out walking in the veld (this time without a rifle) when a kudu cow came tearing along with three wild dogs in close pursuit.
When she had almost come up to me, one of the wild dogs ranged alongside of her and leapt up at her flanks, tearing out a mouthful of flesh.
I charged at them, shouting as loud as I could, at which they reluctantly left the kudu and turned back, whereupon I hastily ran back to my camp to collect my rifle.
However, on my return they had gone and I never saw them again.

While out on patrol at Numbi I found a breeding-hole of wild dogs and returned to camp to collect a pick and shovel and some boys.
We dug out the pups, which numbered six though I do not think we got them all as there were so many passages and ramifications in this hole that we could not follow them all.
I took the pups home with me, thinking that if they were fed on porridge and milk, like my own pack of dogs, they would lose that terrible, sickening smell so characteristic of these animals.
They would feed quite contentedly with my dogs at their feeding trough, which was an old iron railway sleeper plugged up at each end.
The scent of meat, however, would drive them almost mad with excitement and eventually I sent them to the Pretoria Zoo, as I had had quite enough of them-and their aroma.
"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall
User avatar
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14519
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Unread post by DuQues »

Lycaon pictus

Head and body length 76 to 112cm. Tail length 30 to 41cm.
Weight 17 to 36kg (mean of 25kg).
Average life expectancy about 11 years.

Habitat and Ecology
Wild dogs are generalist predators, occupying a range of habitats including short-grass plains, semi-desert, bushy savannahs and upland forest.
While early studies in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, led to a belief that wild dogs were primarily an open plains species, more recent data indicate that they reach their highest densities in thicker bush (e.g., Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania; Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe; and northern Botswana).
Several relict populations occupy dense upland forest (e.g., Harenna Forest, Ethiopia: Malcolm and Sillero-Zubiri 2001; Ngare Ndare Forest, Kenya).
Wild dogs have been recorded in desert (Lhotse 1946), although they appear unable to establish themselves in the southern Kalahari (M.G.L. Mills, unpubl.), and montane habitats (Thesiger 1970, Malcolm and Sillero-Zubiri 2001), although not in lowland forest. It appears that their current distribution is limited primarily by human activities and the availability of prey, rather than by the loss of a specific habitat type.

Wild dogs mostly hunt medium-sized antelope.
Whereas they weigh 20-30 kg, their prey average around 50 kg, and may be as large as 200 kg.
In most areas their principal prey are impala (Aepyceros melampus), kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), Thomson gazelle (Gazella thomsonii) and wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus).
They will give chase of larger species, such as eland (Tragelaphus oryx) and buffalo (Syncerus caffer), but rarely kill such prey.
Small antelope, such as dik-dik (Madoqua spp.), steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) and duiker (tribe Cephalophini) are important in some areas and warthogs (Phacochoerus spp.) are also taken in some populations.
Wild dogs also take very small prey such as hares, lizards and even eggs, but these make a very small contribution to their diet.

The principal threats to wild dogs are conflict with human activities and infectious disease.
Both of these are mediated by habitat fragmentation, which increases contact between wild dogs, people and domestic dogs.
The important role played by human-induced mortality has two long-term implications.
First, it makes it likely that, outside protected areas, wild dogs may well be unable to co-exist with the increasing human population unless better protection and local education programmes are implemented. This will be a serious problem for wild dog populations outside protected areas.
Second, wild dog ranging behaviour leads to a very substantial "edge effect", even in large reserves.
Simple geometry dictates that a reserve of 5,000 km² contains no point more than 40 km from its borders - a distance well within the range of distances travelled by a pack of wild dogs in their usual ranging behaviour.
Thus, from a wild dogs perspective, a reserve of this size (fairly large by most standards) would be all edge. As human populations rise around reserve borders, the risks to wild dogs venturing outside are also likely to increase.
Under these conditions, only the very largest unfenced reserves will be able to provide any level of protection for wild dogs.
In South Africa, proper fencing around quite small reserves has proved effective in keeping dogs confined to the reserve (although fencing has costs, as well as benefits, in conservation terms).
Even in large, well-protected reserves, or in stable populations remaining largely independent of protected areas (as in northern Botswana), wild dogs live at low population densities.
Predation by lions, and perhaps competition with hyenas, contribute to keeping wild dog numbers below the level that their prey base could support.
Such low population density brings its own problems.
The largest areas contain only relatively small wild dog populations; for example, the Selous Game Reserve, with an area of 43,000 km² (about the size of Switzerland), contains about 800 wild dogs.
Most reserves, and probably most wild dog populations, are smaller.
For example, the wild dog population in Niokolo-Koba National Park and buffer zones (about 25,000 km², larger than the state of Israel) is likely to be not more than 50-100 dogs.
Such small populations are vulnerable to extinction.
"Catastrophic" events such as outbreaks of epidemic disease may drive them to extinction when larger populations have a greater probability of recovery - such an event seems to have led to the extinction of the small wild dog population in the Serengeti ecosystem on the Kenya-Tanzania border.
Problems of small population size will be exacerbated if, as seems likely, small populations occur in small reserves or habitat patches.
As discussed above, animals inhabiting such areas suffer a strong "edge effect".
Thus, small populations might be expected to suffer disproportionately high mortality as a result of their contact with humans and human activity.

Occurrence in captivity
There are more than 300 wild dogs in captivity in 55 zoos, as listed on ISIS and as many as 200 additional animals occur in zoos and private collections, particularly in South Africa.
Early attempts to reintroduce captive-bred animals to the wild were hampered by the dogs poor hunting skills and naive attitudes to larger predators.
However, recent reintroductions have overcome this problem by mixing captive-bred dogs with wild-caught animals and releasing them together.
This approach has been very valuable in re-establishing packs in several fenced reserves in South Africa, but is not considered a priority in other parts of Africa at present.
Nevertheless, captive populations have important roles to play in developing conservation strategies for wild populations, through research (e.g., testing of vaccination protocols), outreach and education.

Occurrence in the wild
Wild dogs have disappeared from much of their former range.
The species is virtually eradicated from West Africa, and greatly reduced in central Africa and north-east Africa.
The largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa.
Population densities in well-studied areas suggest that between 3,000-5,500 free-ranging wild dogs remain in Africa (< 2,500 of these are mature individuals).
Population size is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing conflict with human activities, infectious disease, habitat fragmentation.

1986 - Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1988 - Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1990 - Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1994 - Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1996 - Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Sources: and
User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 105
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:07 pm
Location: Jo'burg

Unread post by BunduBoi »

At the moment, there is only one viable WD population in Saffa - Kruger.
The reason being is the space lacking of the other parks and reserves to hold a significant number of Wild Dogs (at least 100).
So scientists and conservationists devised a plan using a metapopulation, meaning that all Wild DOgs in reserves larger than 30 000 ha are managed as one population, so regulary are transported and swapped to other reseves to keep a healthy gene pool.
It's a great initiative taken by SANParks, provicial parks and wildlife trusts.
So far the reserves of the metapopulation are:
Marakele National Park (Greater Area)
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve
Pilanesberg Park
Madikwe Park
Mkuze Reserve
Venetia Limpopo Reserve (on border with Mapungubwe)
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

I fiond it strange that Kgalagadi is not on the list. Why is this so?

Does anyone have more info on this? Like additional reserves to be added, expansion of reserves, news of packs, number of packs etc???
User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 13725
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Unread post by Imberbe »

bucky wrote:I am not sure if wild dogs occur naturally in areas like Kgalagadi ? isn't it to dry for them (am open to correction here , really don't know).
Also they tend to hunt and live in areas that are quite bushy ,
Kgalagadi is very very open .

I contacted the Manager of Kgalagadi.
He informed me that there are only a few sporadic occurrences of Wild dog in the park.

He is of opinion that the ecology in Kgalagadi is such, that it is not ideal for Wilddog and thus the dogs do not thrive there.
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

"Wilderness cannot be conquered, it becomes part of you and enriches your soul." - Louis

The ultimate wilderness experience! Visit
User avatar
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 13725
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Location: Pretoria, RSA

Unread post by Imberbe »


You are correct that there is no bordering area to the South or West that is really suited to their needs. To explain their presence, it is important to understand the nature of the Wilddog.

They are nomads!

They keep on moving, even in ideal areas! They roam over vast distances, and when the habitat is marginal to their needs, these areas become even bigger. They will remain static only for short times, then mostly to den. Wilddogs are known to even move through populated areas to reach new areas. ( In Natal they will move from Hluhluwe to Itala etc.)

What this means is that the dogs moving through the Kgalagadi is not going to another destination, say on the other side of the park. They are just roaming. But since the ecology is not suited to their needs, there are only a few reaching Kgalagadi and they won't stay there.


Wilddogs do hunt Wildebeest even in the KNP. BUT! Remember that they prefer smaller and weaker prey that is easier to catch. They themselves are not very big! Thus they prefer Impala etc. When they do hunt Wildebeest it will often be calves. :wink:
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

"Wilderness cannot be conquered, it becomes part of you and enriches your soul." - Louis

The ultimate wilderness experience! Visit
User avatar
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Honorary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 14519
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?

Unread post by DuQues »

The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus)
(Other Names: African Hunting Dog, Apeete, Cape Hunting Dog, Cynhyene, Eeyeyi, Eminze, Imbwa, Inpumpi, Kikwau, Kite Kya Negereni, Kulwe, Licaon, Liduma, Ligwami, Loup-peint, Lycaon, Mauzi, Mbawa, Mbwa Mwitu, Mbughi, Mhuge, Mulula, Muthige, Nzui, Omusege, Osuyiani, Painted Dog, Prude, Sudhe, Suyian, Suyo, Suyondet, Tri-colored Dog, Wildehond)

Although similar in appearance to hyenas, African wild dogs are nevertheless true wild canidae.
They are a mixture of black, yellow, and white in such a wide variety of patterns that no two individuals look exactly alike.

Weight between 17 and 36 kg. Shoulder Height: 61-78 cm

Savanna, grassland and open woodland

Only an 4,000-5,000 in total, of which about 400 live in South Africa.

Africa south of the Sahara.

African wild dogs are the continent's most endangered predator.
Population size is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing conflict with human activities, infectious disease, and habitat fragmentation.
The most severe threat to the wild dog has been its mostly undeserved reputation as a voracious and indiscriminate killer of game and livestock, which has led to its persecution.
In most of Africa, wild dogs are shot or poisoned whenever they are encountered.
Another severe threat has arisen more recently: the wild dog's habitat has been shrinking as human populations expand.
This leads the wild dog into increased contact with humans, their domestic animals and the diseases they carry and an increasing number of roads bisecting its habitat threaten the wild dog with greater mortality from vehicles.
The wild dog appears to be susceptible to many diseases, particularly canine distemper (introduced into East Africa in 1906), rabies and anthrax.

African wild dogs live in tightly knit social groups and hunt cooperatively, preying primarily on grazing animals such as gazelles, springboks, wildebeest and zebras.
Most predators stalk or ambush their prey, but these animals make no attempt to hide.
They simply approach a herd until it stampedes, then single out an individual -- usually one that's slowed by old age or disease -- and chase it until it's exhausted.
African wild dogs use their sense of sight, not smell, to find their prey.
They pay no attention to wind direction and they do not use cover when approaching their prey.
They can run up to 55 km/h for several kilometres.
In eastern Africa, they mostly hunt Thomsons gazelles, but they will also attack calves, warthogs, zebras, impalas, and the young of large antelopes such as the gnu.

The Shrinking Pack
African wild dogs were once common in virtually every environment in southern Africa except rain forests and deserts.
But human encroachment has drastically reduced their range and their numbers.
Because of land clearance, urbanization, and other factors, Africa's once-great herds of grazing animals are now restricted to scattered populations in parks and reserves.
As their prey goes, so go the dogs.
They are also widely regarded as pests; they've been poisoned, shot, and trapped in many areas.
Perhaps their most serious threat, though, is introduced diseases.
Burgeoning human populations have brought the African wild dogs into frequent contact with domestic dogs, many of which carry canine distemper and rabies.
These diseases are ravaging the wild packs.
This kind of contact is one of the less obvious ways that human populations disrupt wild populations.

African wild dogs have an unusual breeding system.
Only one pair of dogs reproduces in a pack; other pack members act cooperatively to care for the young of the breeding pair.
It has been said that African wild dogs are the most social of all mammals, never living apart from a pack at any stage in their lives.
Young wild dogs are adult at about 1 year, sexual maturity is attained between 12 - 18 months.
The gestation period is around 60 - 80 days.
There are 2 - 19 pups per litter, with an average of about 10.
The time between births is usually 12 - 14 months, but it can be as short as 6 months if all of the young die.
Pups are born in a den, usually one dug by an aardvark.
Weaning takes place at about 10 weeks.
After 3 months, the den is abandoned and the pups begin to run with the pack.
At 8 - 11 months they can kill easy prey, but they are not proficient until about 12 - 14 months, at which time they can fend for themselves.
Females between 14 - 30 months old leave the pack in which they were born in groups of sisters born in the same litter and join another pack that lacks sexually mature females.
Most males do not disperse from the pack they were born in.

Kruger National Park seems to have 20 packs, which have ranges from 150 to 1110 sq km.

Natural causes (39%): Lion predation - 12%, hyena predation - 4%, other predation - 5%, other wild dogs - 5%, disease - 8%, accident - 6%.
Human causes (61%): Road kill - 24%, snared - 10 %, shot - 15%, poisoned - 12%, other - 1%.
User avatar
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 492
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 12:00 pm
Location: At work longing for the outdoors!

Unread post by Jakkalsbessie »

Wild@Heart wrote:I posed a question if Wild Dogs Number are increasing.
Interesting info I found out during our trip now.
Wild Dog have a better success rate of raising their young if the previous 2 seasons were dry.
Now if we consider that it was quite dry for a long time now in the Kruger, it could explain the number of sightings that have increase.
Which could maybe show in the census this year that Wild Dog numbers might have increased.
Which I hope is the case.

Remembered i read about this a month or so ago in the Kruger Park Times - just had to go and find it.
Here is the article:

From Kruger Park Times Vol 2 Issue 23 (about 2 or 3 issues back)

New research on the wild dog population in the Kruger National Park has revealed that the amount of rain that falls before wild dogs give birth to pups is an important factor in determining whether the pups will live or die.

Using data gathered in southern Kruger and the Sabie Sand Wildtuin from 1989 to 2004, a team of researchers including Ursula Buettner, Harriet Davies-Mostert, Johan du Toit and Gus Mills, has revealed that dry spells before the birth of pups helps them to survive up to the age of nine months, after which other things start to influence their survival.

The Kruger National Park contains the largest single population of wild dogs in South Africa, and the only one that is considered to be viable without human interference.
Conservation of the wild dog is a priority in protected areas, as it is the most endangered carnivore in southern Africa and one of the most endangered carnivores on earth.

Previous studies of wild dogs have shown that young dogs are important drivers of whether populations rise or fall, and so gaining an insight into what helps pups survive is one way of ensuring that conservation efforts are more successful.
Kruger was an ideal place to study this, due to the long period over which wild dog information has been collected and because the dogs are so well known to the researchers.
The abundance of weather stations in Kruger is also a bonus.

By analysing rainfall data and information about wild dog packs and their pups, they found that the amount of rain that fell up to two years before the pups were born could influence their survival.
The amount of rain that fell in the six months after the pups were born had no effect on their survival.
Most wild dog pups are born in early June and the researchers speculate that the condition of the pups’ parents before they are born is partly responsible for their survival.
If the weather has been dry beforehand, it is likely that the dogs find it easier to hunt for several reasons – the lower grass and smaller shrubs makes it easier to chase and catch prey, they can see obstacles that would be hidden in the grass better, and with less greenery to eat impala and other prey animals will be in poorer condition and easier to catch.
Also, the dogs are a bit safer when the grass is lower as lions, which are major killers of wild dogs, find it harder to stalk them.
With less lion harassment and easier meals, the dogs will be in better condition and give birth to healthier pups in drier years.

The effect of preceding rainfall was most important for pup survival in the first six months, important to a lesser extent until the pups were nine months old and was no longer linked to pup survival when the pups reached a year old.
The researchers also looked at whether the number of adult dogs in a wild dog pack affected whether or not pups survived.
They found that up until six months, the rain that fell before the pups were born had more of an effect on pup survival.
As the pups grew older, the effect of the rain diminished, and the number of adults in the pack played a more important role, with bigger packs increasing the chance of the pups becoming yearlings.
One of the reasons for this might be linked to the way the dogs catch their prey.
Because they work as a team, whether they catch a meal or not can depend on how many dogs are around to run for their lunch.

When pups are born, the wild dogs often leave an adult ‘pup-guard’ behind to look after the babies while they hunt.
If leaving an adult behind means that it is that much harder to catch a meal, the dogs might leave the pups alone while they hunt.
This leaves the pups vulnerable to other predators, like lions.
Also, as the pups grow older and accompany adults on hunts, in a larger pack they are more likely to be protected while eating on a kill.

Armed with this new information about how rainfall and pack size affects the survival of wild dog pups, conservationists can better plan when and where to release new packs of dogs into other protected areas. However, when studying the wild dog data, it became apparent that there are also other factors that influence whether or not pups survive to adulthood, and more research is planned to uncover these things.
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Please help save Mapungubwe NP - Facebook page
User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 603
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:33 am

Unread post by MarkWildDog »

Hey Guys :!:

Its so cool to hear people talking about my favourite animal ... the Wild Dog

They are :

- Excellent hunters .
- Caring Parents .
- Beautifully Coloured .
- Very Cute .
- Highly Intelligent .
- Super Fast .
- Critically Endangered .
- 2nd favourite in Predator Poll ( So Far )

As far as sightings Go .

I've seen the Wild Dogs Once out of Two Visits :!:

- S110 near Berg En Dal ( Morning )

It was Truely a Memorable Moment :D

Hopefully I'll see them when I go in July :D

Wild Dogs Rule :thumbs_up:
User avatar
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:07 am
Location: Not even I know!

Unread post by matthew »

In the same trip as the cheetah, December 2004, we were lucky enough to see the same 3 wild dog (the one has a very distinctive tan blaze across his back) on 2 occasions:

1. On the S114 close to Renosterkoppies in the early morning:
Duke Pack Member- Mapoisa Mat²
Alrighty then!
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person
User avatar
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1227
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Location: Gauties .

Unread post by bucky »

Mark , there are many projects involving wild dogs .
One of the biggest worrys considering krugers low population at this point of 150-200 is that knp is 1 of the few reserves with a self sustaining population :?
Your favourite animal is on a lot of trouble !

Interesting point to note , is that wild dog numbers do tend to drop after many years of high rainfall , and increase again when it is drier .
We have had record rains , so you may well find this is the reason for there low numbers .

More worrying is the fact that more than half there fatalities are caused directly by man , a lot of these are road kills , which is why it is important for kruger to limit non tourist related traffic ,
and clamp down on speeding and bad driving , especially in the busy south of the park where most wild dogs are found !
User avatar
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:18 am
Location: RSA

Unread post by Meinfam »

Our last wilddog sighting was March 2006 near Croc.
H4-2 near S130 T.

User avatar
Wild about cats
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1848
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 4:10 pm
Location: SA

Unread post by Wild about cats »

Taken in April 2006 at Malelane gate:
User avatar
Posts: 40075
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Tinley Manor Beach

Unread post by Elsa »

Does anyone know if there is any documented info or evidence on whether Wild dogs would attack an adult human?
I guess if they were hunting as a pack, it certainly could be possible. :?
Take time each day to be with nature
User avatar
Posts: 40075
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:31 pm
Location: Tinley Manor Beach

Unread post by Elsa »

Snoobab wrote:The pics is of a stranded tourist running down the H4-1 with a pack of WD right behind him. If memory serves me correct he was rescued by the helicopter but was told that he was very lucky as they were closing in on him. He apparently did not even know they were behind him.

I guess if a person or anything runs, it could possibly trigger off the "chase and kill" reflex present in all wild animals, especially predators, and that may have been why the dogs were closing in.
He was very lucky tho. :shock:
Take time each day to be with nature