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Running Wild: Dispelling the Myths of the African Wild Dog Hardcover – January, 1997


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Hardcover, January, 1997
$180.96 $49.98
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How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature
Help kids fall in love with nature while instilling them with a sense of place along the way.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books; 1st edition (January 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560987170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560987178
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 10.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For millennia, Lycaon pictus, the wild dog, roamed the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. A highly social scavenger, much like the wolf of the Northern Hemisphere, the wild dog served an essential function in the grasslands ecosystem, culling sick and injured ungulates from once-vast herds. With the advent of large-scale farming and livestock production, however, the wild dog was seen as a threat to progress and was hunted out. Only some 5,000 individuals survive today, making Lycaon pictus Africa's most endangered carnivore. This heavily illustrated look at the life of the wild dog makes a well-reasoned argument for its preservation.

From Library Journal

In 1989, the authors and photography team Helene Heldring and Dave Hamman embarked on what would become a four-year effort focused on the African wild dog. As is true of many carnivores that compete with humans for food and living space, an untainted study population was difficult to locate. The researchers finally decided on the Mombo Pack on Chief's Island in Botswana's Okavango delta area. This coffee-table account includes over 300 superb color photos offering a broad picture of the pack's behaviors, from pack structure to hunting techniques. A brief suggested reading list lacks two related works of interest: noted zoologist Jonathan Scott's Painted Wolves (Viking, 1991) and Mark and Delia Owens's Cry of the Kalahari (1984). (The Owenses also worked in Botswana but were denied reentry owing to their criticism of conservation efforts there; McNutt et al. gratefully acknowledge the government's support. A very readable book; highly recommended.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Hi, I'm an OAC biology student (that's grade 13 in Ontario) who is doing my ISP on African wild dogs. This is the best book I have ever found on wild dogs and probably the best ever written. I could not believe my luck when I found it. It is an excellent, coffee-table-type book with lots of beautiful pictures that you would like even if you were not specially interested in wild dogs. You will be surprised at how similar the dogs look in the pictures to your own dog.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Are you fascinated by wolves? Do you dream of going on safari in Africa? If you answer yes to either question then this book will be of interest to you.
I had the good luck to see a pack of 10 wild dogs while on safari in Botswana in September of 1998. Being a wolf enthusiast, I was very interested in the similarities and differences between the American grey wolf and the African wild dog. This book was in the library of each safari camp I stayed in so I had the pleasure of studying about the wild dogs while in their native habitat. As you'll learn from this book, wild dogs are extremely social, even more so than grey wolves, and very efficient, successful predators.
The photographs in this book are fantastic and the text is well written, well organized, and aimed at the general public rather than the scientific community.
The author continues his African wild dog research in Botswana. The fate of these fascinating predators is very precarious due to their small population and the relentless persecution by people, similar to that experienced by the grey wolf in America earlier this century.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Angus Lovejoy on December 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A terrific book for all types of nature-loving readers. If you like pictures, they're here. If you want the best information available about African Wild Dogs and efforts to save them, it's definitely here. All people who are fascinated by wild animals will find this book to be a treasure. The photography is beautiful...It's the next best thing to being there. Leave this book on your coffee table and I guarantee that every guest will pick it up.
These animals truly are in trouble. McNutt does a good job explaining exactly why these dogs are endangered (or should be classified as such).
Like most books published under Smithsonian, this one is a keeper.

Edit: I am reading this book again in 2014...it is somehow even better now. What a beauty! I will own this book until the day I die.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Bullitt on August 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first came across this book during a photographic safari in Botswana during which I became intrigued by the African Wild Dog (or Painted Wolf, as the species is also known). The species is endangered and only some 6,000 animals remain world-wide. These "dogs" are not either dogs or wolves as we know them, but rather an independent species that cannot interbreed with what we know as "dogs" or "wolves". The book was so good that ordering this book was one of my first priorities on returning to the US.
The book is written by individuals who spent years tracking packs of animals. The photographs are exceptionally good--they are taken at all times of day and in both close-up and at a distance. The book is organized well and discusses the dog itself as well as its pack rules, its playfulness, how socially interactive it is, how it hunts and what it hunts, how its prey has learned to escape, what hunts these dogs, and a variety of other topics. Throughout all, the photographs are stellar and let one appreciate not only the animal life but also the surrounding environment.
This book should appeal to 1) photographers, 2) anyone planning a safari to northern Botswana or to other areas (sadly few) in which the African Wild Dog survives still, 3) anyone who wants a magnificent coffee table book.

This is a wonderful book.
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