This Pack of African Wild Dogs Are So Hungry They Go After a Vulture

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: January 17, 2024

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When we think of “ugly” animals, it’s easy to immediately think of animals such as rats, vultures, or hyenas. These animals have one thing in common: their scavenging skills. Scavenging is when animals eat dead organisms. 

However, that’s not all that makes up what these animals are. Their power, size, and speed make many of these types of scavengers amazing animals to want to know more about. Let’s see how amazed these African wild dogs are with a vulture. 

Wild Dogs Encounter a Vulture In Africa

The YouTube video shown at the beginning shares footage of wild dogs coming across a vulture. This takes place in Africa where the wild dog, otherwise known as the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) resides. The Londolozi Game Reserve YouTube page reposted this video to their 1.5 million+ subscribers. The most recent videos they’ve shared with their followers in the last few weeks are of lions, leopards, and hyenas. 

Vulture Scares off Wild Dogs

As the video clip starts out, we see a pack of wild dogs have surrounded a massive vulture. There are approximately a dozen wild dogs that can be seen here; however, we know their packs can reach over 40 members at times, according to the World Wildlife Fund. 

They inquisitively approach the vulture, but the vulture flaps its powerful wings, and the wild dogs disperse quickly. And we can’t say that we blame them. Vultures can have an incredible wingspan of up to six feet in length! Notice from the video that every time the vulture spreads out his wings, the wild dogs back up and only come back in once the wings are down again by his side. 

It’s important to note that vultures don’t only spread their wings in defense of themselves. According to Stanford University, “Spread-wing postures appear to serve for both thermoregulation and drying in Turkey Vultures. These birds maintain their body temperature at a lower level at night than in the daytime.” So, if you see a vulture spreading its wings in front of you, don’t always take it as a sign of attack.

What Eats Vultures?

Ruppells Griffon Vulture close-up

Vultures can fly up to 30 miles per hour.


There are 23 species of the vulture (Cathartes aura). They can be found living throughout Africa, Asia, Central America, Eurasia, Europe, North America and South America. And while these birds only weigh a few pounds, some species can weigh up to 20 pounds. 

Vultures have to worry about predators such as hawks, snakes, and wild cats. Given their size, they don’t have many other predators than those. Vultures are also known to be killed by illegal hunting and power lines

African wild dogs will eat just about anything they can capture. However, in this video above, they were probably just curious about what this bird was. 

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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