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Wildebeest is pulled away from its herd by ferocious wild dog

This is the moment a wildebeest is dragged away from its herd by a ferocious African wild dog before it fell prey to the rest of the pack. Despite its victim being more than twice its size, the dog was able to launch an attack on the wildebeest, sinking its teeth into its muzzle.

The carnivore then managed to haul its struggling prey back to the rest of its pack at the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa. Francois Van Heerden, a guide at the reserve – located around 165 miles from South African capital Pretoria – captured the dramatic moment on camera.

He said that the wildebeest had fought hard, but in the end, did not have the stamina to overcome the strength of the pack of wild dogs. Often confused with hyenas, the dogs are highly endangered and were introduced to the park in 1994 as part of a conservation effort to protect the species – often known as the ‘painted dog’ due to the markings on the animal’s coats.

The original pack was faced with a host of dangers such as rabies outbreaks, territorial clashes, and the odd run-in with the park’s lions but are now thriving. Three hunting packs currently roam the 289 square mile reserve, which is located close to the border with Botswana.

The dogs live and hunt in packs, and can pursue their prey at speed of up to 40miles an hour for anything between ten minutes to an hour. Nearly 80 percent of wild dog hunts end with a kill, compared with lions which manage to kill around 30 percent of their prey. Wild dogs often kill their larger prey, such as wildebeest, impalas, gazelle, and springbok, by firstly immobilizing the victim and then disemboweling them. After a successful hunt, the dogs will regurgitate meat for the members of the pack that remained at the den during the hunt, such as the dominant female, older animals, and pups.

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