Animals are reclaiming the world, while humans are confined indoors during the pandemic. The situation is severe, and it has taken a huge toll on our mental health. But it feels good when we see animals and birds taking over the empty streets, while we continue our battle with COVID-19. In the latest animal reclaiming world series, two dholes, rare whistling dogs were spotted in Gujarat for the first time in 50 years. The rare Asiatic wild dogs were caught on camera traps set up at Vansda National Park located in the Sahyadri ranges. According to media reports, the last reliable sighting of these dogs was spotted sometime in 1970, by Late Maharaja Digveerandrasinhji of Dang. Animals Are Reclaiming the World Series: Peacocks Cause Beautiful ‘Traffic Jam’ on the Road As Humans Stay Indoors.
“The number of individual dogs or pack size is still unknown. The presence of whistling dogs is an indicator of the good quality forest, an abundance of prey, and the least amount of human interference. The first sighting was on February 20 by a local birder Mohammad Jat, who reported the sighting to the forest department,” Dinesh Rabari, the Deputy Conservator of Forests, South Dangs division was quoted saying in a TOI report. Animals Reclaiming The World in Photos & Videos: From Leopard in Hyderabad to Gaur in Assam, 5 Instances of Wild Animals in India on The Loose.
Rabari added that he and his team had earlier suspected the presence of the Asiatic dog in the jungle. Hence, the department set up a range of camera traps to find out the numbers while monitoring their movement. “The carcass of a deer and the way it was disemboweled strengthened our suspicion. We then visited the spot and found a dog eating the carcass. Later, we set up the camera traps to observe further activities. The first images of Dhole were captured the next day in Kevdi beat of the part,” Rabari stated further in the same report.
Dhole is a canid native to Central, South, East Asia and Southeast Asia. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the animal as endangered after the populations started decreasing. The factors that contribute towards this decline include habitat loss, loss of prey, competition with other species, persecution due to livestock predation and also disease transfer from domestic dogs. Because of its peculiar contact call, dholes are also known as whistling dogs.