A Free Meal — Conflict between Wolves and Feral Dogs

Mihir Godbole
Mihir Godbole
A dog feeding on a wolf kill

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

It's a miracle that wolves still manage, albeit tenuously, to survive in India's last, fragmented grasslands. Domestic and feral dogs, however, might turn out to be their nemesis.

My passion is to highlight the plight of grasslands, and to work towards the conservation of these vast, neglected spaces.

On one of the occasions when my friends and I were in the grasslands near Pune, we were observing a few wolves from a distance. They had killed a Chinkara. However, stray dogs from the nearby settlement showed up in no time, running towards the pack of wolves. I have observed that these wolves are quite shy of human presence and don’t tolerate dogs. The dogs managed to chase the wolves away, and got the whole carcass to themselves.

Although scavenging and stealing others’ prey is a fairly common occurrence in the wild, domestic dogs are a real menace to wolves. Stray dogs coming in conflict with the Indian Wolf (listed as a Schedule 1 species in India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) is a grave issue associated with risks of hybridisation, disease and competition.

About the author

Mihir Godbole

Mihir is associated with the Pune-based Grassland Trust.



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