Who Let the Dogs Out?
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Research Associate Ricardo Moreno and his team have been studying the elusive, and cuddly, member of the canid family, the bush dog.
This member of the dog family has been part of the STRI’s study of big mammals that uses camera trapping data spanning from Panama to Costa Rica to Colombia, but its on-screen time has been limited, making the “obese mongoose” like creature a mystery. Out of 32,000 camera days, bush dogs were only sighted 11 times. The only knowledge of the species comes from those that are bred in captivity in several zoos around the world. The true problem with this incognito lifestyle is that The International Union for Conservation of Nature has estimated that the population of bush dogs has declined by 25 percent in the last 12 years. While the STRI can only ponder the reasons for this decline, the true question is, how do you save something you cannot see?
To read more about the mysterious bush dog and the Smithsonian team trying to track their habits, check out wbur’s “The Wild Life” article here.
Also check out this eleven second clip of bush dog antics below.