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Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis)

Ethiopian wolves are endangered and run the risk of going extinct in the near future. Due to this, it is important to learn more about them and hopefully turn back the hands of time. They are very interesting animals, doing some things that set them apart from their fellow wolves. So let's look into these wolves and see what we can learn about them.

Physical Description and Behavior

These wolves have a very earthy tone, ranging from a color similar to cumin to a more rusty reddish color. They have more of a pale ginger-colored underfur, which helps to keep them warm in temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius. In the groin, neck, and chest, their fur goes from the rusty color to a stark white. Adults can be 33-40 inches in length, 2 feet in height, and can weigh upwards of about 40 pounds.

Fun fact: These wolves live in family groups, but hunt alone. These groups consist of extended families comprising of a multitude of males, but only a couple of females. Packs can have upwards of 13 individuals. The female will dig her own den when it is time for her to give birth, and the males will hunt for food to feed this matriarch and her brood.

Despite being part of a pack, they rarely hunt together. These carnivores will usually hunt alone to find smaller prey such as mole rats, grass rats, and other common rodents. However, when taking down large prey such as antelope or lambs, they may work together in small groups.

Habitat and Location

They live in canyons and highlands, which tend to be windy and dry. Their population is subjected to just a few small populations across Ethiopia, with the largest population area being 170 individuals. It is believed that less than 800 individuals remain in the wild to this day. This is why they are considered one of Africa's most endangered carnivores, as well as the world's rarest canid, according to the IUCN.

While their numbers seemed to have increased from 500 to 770 since 2011, they are still considered to be endangered according to the IUCN RedList. The biggest threats seem to be a combination of habitat loss as well as diseases that have become more common. Only about half of all pregnancies wind up with living pups, which makes the situation that much harder in terms of conservation.

There is a documentary about this wolf on CuriosityStream (not sponsored) called Africa's Lost Wolves. It centers around an Ethiopian wolf named Megati. So I highly recommend watching this documentary, as well as the one below.

You can learn more about Ethiopia itself by watching the documentary below:

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