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The Incredible Journey of Three African Wild Dogs

But the dogs’ small size puts them at a serious disadvantage, and a single 420-pound male lion can easily step in and claim a pack’s fresh catch as its own. Spotted hyenas will also chase after the wild dogs when hunting, and if more than two or three pirates are playing, they will likely have the upper hand over the loot. African wild dogs have thus evolved to stay under the radar, communicate in twitters best received by wild dog-ears, and steer clear of places where lions and hyenas — and now humans — abound. After five million years of battling larger carnivores, “they have adapted to move through difficult landscapes,” said Dr. creel.

A frenzied flight east through unprotected land to reach the Luangwa River. Really? Swim over it again – at the height of flood season? Shut up and start paddling.

If you think crocodiles are bad, try trucks. The sisters reach the Great East Road, the heavily traveled main artery connecting Zambia’s capital Lusaka to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Supposedly after looking both ways, the dogs race down the four-lane highway. They then make their way through a belt of villages and farms. Chances are, Mr Mwape said, “nobody even knew they were there.”

Time for another stamp on the passport: Team 1355 enters Mozambique.

dr. Creel and his colleagues are concerned. For two weeks the dogs barely moved, and when they moved they seemed rambunctious, out of control. The scientists fear the worst: EWD 1355 has been injured – from a fall, a fight, a fall.

The researchers sigh with relief as the dogs jump into high gear again, leave the settlement area and head southeast over rugged, uninhabited terrain.

A few miles from the Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia border crossing, the dogs confront again and ford the Luangwa River. Back in their native Zambia, they head towards Lower Zambezi National Park, possibly drawn to the rich, musky scent of a resident pack of 29 wild dogs. The Zambezi dogs are known for having mastered the art of hunting African buffalo, huge and aggressive cattle that few feral dogs dare approach.

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