Whistling Dog Spotted in Gujarat's Surat for the First Time in 50 Years

Surat: After the lockdown, several species of animals have been spotted in our cities, some of them after decades. The latest in the list is whistling dogs who have been seen in Gujarat's Surat after the first time in 50 years.

The rare Asiatic wild dogs were spotted at Vansda National Park in the Sahyadri ranges. Dhole, known as whistling dogs, were last seen in 1970s, according to media reports. Dhole gets its name whistling dog for its peculiar contact call.

"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," the Times of India quoted Dinesh Rabari, Deputy Conservator of Forest, South Dangs division.

"We had suspected the presence of the Asiatic dog here. 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," added Rabari.

Dhole has shorter legs and tail, is reddish brown in colour, and disembowels its prey within minutes. It is found around south of Ganges river, Western and the Eastern Ghats and northeastern states.

This species is protected under schedule 2 of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972.