Watch This Massive Sable Dare These Dogs To Attack

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: November 29, 2023

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A horizontal, color image of a large pack of African wild dogs, Pycaon pictus, preparing to hunt in late eveining golden light in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe.
© Villiers Steyn/

Not all prey is scared of the predators who hunt them. Some prey is much larger than the predators that chase them. And they know their best course of action is to use intimidation techniques. Let’s see a sizeable sable antelope do just that in the abovementioned video.

Sable Sighting in Hwange National Park

The YouTube video at the top of this blog post takes us to the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa. This park is one of the largest natural reserves in Zimbabwe

The tour guide, Douglas, was able to capture this thrilling video. He was able to capture this amazing footage on his Android phone. The YouTube page sharing the video briefly described what happened below.

“Just as we were setting up for sundown drinks on a lookout platform, the Sable ran towards the waterhole followed closely by a pack of painted wild dogs.” 

Massive Sable Vs. Wild Dogs

Animals in Angola

Sables can weigh upwards of 500 pounds.


As the video starts, we see the setting as if we are in a dramatic Hollywood film. On one side, we have a giant hippo eagerly looking at what will happen. A massive sable is standing in the water, and off in the distance, a group of wild dogs is approaching. The video references these dogs as “painted dogs.”

According to the Endangered Wolf Center, “African wild dogs, painted wolves, and cape hunting dogs, painted dogs get their name from their incredible coats.” 

We comically see the hippo leave at 1:03 as the wild dogs get closer. It’s as if this hippo says he doesn’t want to be around for this mess! Now, our attention is turned toward the action taking place.

This massive sable is standing erect. He is daring these wild dogs to approach him. At 1:43, we see the sable put his head down to show his horns, and he rushes in, and the dogs get scared off.

What Will Wild Dogs Eat?

The African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) of the genus Lycaon is a small mammal that weighs anywhere from 39-79 pounds and reaches up to 43 inches in length. As small dogs, they will hunt smaller prey such as rabbits, rats, and possums. However, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries states, “When hunting in packs, they will take larger animals such as kangaroos and goats.

The safety in numbers is where this pack of dogs gets their strength from. African wild dogs can have more than 40 members in their pack. They use their numbers to surround their prey and attack strategically. However, in some cases, like the one above, this pack didn’t have the number to take this antelope down. 

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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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