What are Ethiopian wolves?
They are long-limbed, slender canids. They have a black, bushy tail that can reach up to 40 centimeters in length, pointed ears, and a slender snout. They are tawny red with a white underbelly and blaze on their chests, and also have white fur on their throats, which sweeps up and covers the underside of their muzzle. The female wolves tend to be paler in color than males and are smaller overall.
Ethiopian wolves live together, but hunt alone.
Unlike other wolf species, these wolves are solitary hunters. Their diet consists mainly of the giant mole rats and common grass rats that are abundant in their habitat. On the rare occasion, they will hunt cooperatively to bring down young antelopes, lambs, and hares. However, they are social animals and form packs of three to 13 individuals—this allows them to defend a territory with enough rodents to feed the entire group.
They are family-oriented.
Ethiopian wolf packs are groups of extended family members, made up of all the males born into the pack during the previous years and one or two females. During breeding season, commingling between different parks is more common due to habitat saturation and the high potential for inbreeding inside the closely related pack. These interactions are highly vocal, and end when the smaller pack flees from the larger one.
Raising wolf pups is a communal activity.
Adult wolves in a pack will help raise each other’s pups. Wolf mothers give birth in a den they dug themselves, under a boulder or inside a rocky crevice. These dens usually consist of a highly utilized network of burrows, which can have multiple entrances and be interconnected. Pups are regularly shifted from one den to another.