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The East African wild dog (Lycaon pictus lupinus) is a subspecies of African wild dog native to East Africa. It is distinguished from the nominate Cape subspecies by its smaller size[1] and much blacker coat.[2]

East African hunting dog
Laika ac African Wild Dog (9882202246) cropped.jpg
Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Lycaon
L. p. lupinus
Trinomial name
Lycaon pictus lupinus
Thomas, 1902

Its range is patchy, having been eradicated in Uganda and much of Kenya. A small population occupies an area encompassing South Sudan, northern Kenya and probably northern Uganda. It is almost certainly extinct in Rwanda and Burundi. Nevertheless, it remains somewhat numerous in southern Tanzania, particularly in the Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park, both of which are occupied by what could be Africa's largest wild dog population.[3]

Artistic depictions of African wild dogs are prominent on cosmetic palettes and other objects from Egypt's predynastic period, likely symbolising order over chaos, as well as the transition between the wild (represented by the African golden wolf) and the domestic (represented by the dog). Predynastic hunters may have also identified with the African wild dog, as the Hunters Palette shows them wearing the animals' tails on their belts. By the dynastic period, African wild dog illustrations became much less represented and the animal's symbolic role was largely taken over by the wolf.[4][5]


  1. ^ Estes, R. (1992). The behavior guide to African mammals: including hoofed mammals, carnivores, primates. University of California Press. pp. 410-419. ISBN 0-520-08085-8.
  2. ^ Bryden, H. A. (1936), Wild Life in South Africa, George G. Harrap & Company Ltd., pp. 19-20
  3. ^ Fanshawe, J. H., Ginsberg, J. R., Sillero-Zubiri, C. & Woodroffe, R., eds. 1997. The Status & Distribution of Remaining Wild Dog Populations. In Rosie Woodroffe, Joshua Ginsberg & David MacDonald, eds., Status Survey and Conservation Plan: The African Wild Dog: 11-56. IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group.
  4. ^ Baines, J (1993). "Symbolic roles of canine figures on early monuments". Archéo-Nil: Revue de la société pour l'étude des cultures prépharaoniques de la vallée du Nil. #3: 57–74.
  5. ^ Hendrickx, S. (2006). The dog, the Lycaon pictus and order over chaos in Predynastic Egypt. [in:] Kroeper, K.; Chłodnicki, M. & Kobusiewicz, M. (eds.), Archaeology of Early Northeastern Africa. Studies in African Archaeology 9. Poznań: Poznań Archaeological Museum: 723–749.