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Rare wild dog is making a comeback.

ONE of the world's rarest carnivores, the African wild dog, is making an unexpected comeback following a campaign to vaccinate domestic dogs for rabies.

The African wild dog, a lethal pack predator that can achieve speeds of more than 41mph, has died out in many parts of the continent. Persecution from humans and a susceptibility to rabies has seen the dog placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List as an endangered animal.

There are now thought to be fewer than 5,000 of the dogs, which are roughly the same size as an Alsatian, left in the wild. But a campaign to vaccinate domestic dogs against rabies in the Serengeti game reserve in Tanzania has offered hope that the wild dog can make a comeback, the New Scientist has reported.

Following a vaccination programme led by Dr Sarah Cleaveland of the University of Edinburgh, wild dogs have started to breed again in the Serengeti, an area they were classed as extinct from in 1991.

The highly social nature of wild dogs, which hunt antelope and wildebeest, makes them susceptible to rabies. One wild dog that has contracted rabies can quickly pass it on to the rest of the pack with disastrous results.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 27, 2006
Words:210
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