The Bush Dog (Speothos venaticus) is a rare canine mammal in the Canidae family of dogs. It is most closely related to the Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) or the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus).
The Bush Dog has soft, long, brown-tan fur with a lighter reddish colour on its head, neck, back, and tail. It has a bushy tail. It has short legs. It has a short snout (nose) and small ears. It has 38 teeth. It has partially webbed toes, which enables it to swim.
It grows to 57-75 centimetres (2-30 inches) long. Its tail is 12-15 centimetres (5-6 inches) long. It is 20-30 centimetres (8-12 inches) tall, at shoulder height.
It is native to countries in Central and South America, particularly in Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, and Suriname. It prefers lowland forests near rivers. It uses hollow logs and burrows or other holes to seek shelter.
It is carnivorous, eating meat, such as agouti, capybaras, and other large rodents. It hunts during the day.
It is found in pairs or small packs.
It cannot breed fertile hybrid babies with other canids. The female has a pregnancy of 65-83 days before giving birth to 3-6 young, called pups, in a den. The pups have black fur all over their bodies, but they are born blind. They open their eyes after 14-19 days. Members of the pack help to raise the pups.
Location of photographs: Parc Zoologique de Paris in Bois de Vincennes, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM