Till today we have been seeing Wild Dogs chasing prey and eating prey (mostly Spotted Deer) but this morning safari was going to be different!
This morning on the jeep safari we found a large pack of Wild Dogs happily sitting out in a clearing. They were totally relaxed. Some of them were the ‘parent generation’ and the other, adolescents (teenagers). The older dogs were lying down and the youngsters were indulging in some play.
We were watching them play for almost ten minutes. They played as if we were not there at all, even though we were as close as 6 ft. away from them. They jumped on each other, went in-between each other’s legs, and then sat down to rest for sometime.
Play is an important part in the life of a Wild Dog. It is a kind of survival training that they get during and after hunts. By this play, the dogs learn to respect their elders (and know who the dominating dog is) and know their place in the pack (a necessity during hunts as each dog has its role cut out).
The play time is also a time to renew their bonds. The dominant dogs show that they are elder and thus dominant by lifting their tail upright in front of the younger dogs. Thus, we got to know the dogs a little better than just the savage killers they are known to be.