During my recent trip to Kabini it was amazing see a pair of dholes, in courtship mood. This couple has been recently split from the pack of 7 dholes and is probably in the process of making a new family. We spotted them on two consecutive days and both the times they were seen in courtship. I hope we will be lucky to see the puppies soon. This image is shot at 135mm focal length since the dholes got in too close to our vehicle, so I had to use my 7D with 100-400mm lens. I was fortunate to make quite a few beautiful portraits of these dholes and documented some interesting behaviors that include courtship as well. I also keep admiring the eyes of the alpha female in this image, she is simply gorgeous.
The Dhole (Cuon alpinus), also called the Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog, is a species of canid native to South and Southeast Asia. The dholes are classed as endangered by the IUCN, due to ongoing habitat loss, depletion of its prey base, competition from other predators, persecution and possibly diseases from domestic and feral dogs.
The dhole is a highly social animal, living in large clans which occasionally split up into small packs to hunt. It primarily preys on medium-sized ungulates, which it hunts by tiring them out in long chases, and kills by disemboweling them, dholes let their pups eat first at a kill. Though fearful of humans, dhole packs are bold enough to attack large and dangerous animals such as wild boar, gaurs and even tigers.
Camera – Canon EOS 7D, Canon 100-400mm lens
EXIF – ISO 640 Av 5 Tv 1/400 sec EC -0.3, Focal length 135mm, very small crop
14th September 2013