About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Brother Wolf

A surprise encounter with the Indian Grey Wolf, Canis lupus pallipes, last friday!

This was my first wolf sighting, and it came when I was least expecting it. My friends and I were sitting beside a field, watching Coursers and other birds pecking in the soil. There was a goatherd with three goats some distance away. A shaggy black dog trotted past us and disappeared...And then about five minutes later, a wolf ran by on the far side of the field.

At first I wondered what kind of dog it was and peered at it through my binoculars - but we realized immediately that that was no dog! Then the second wolf followed, glancing at us as it went. My camera was in the car, because it had been drizzling some time back, but luckily Sangeeta always has hers, and she's a really good photographer. She managed some shots before the wolves vanished.

I've spent hours waiting to see wolves in three sanctuaries: Nannaj, the Little Rann and Velavadar, but this mysterious animal has always eluded me. Very disappointing for a canid-obsessed person like me. And then, just when I was least expecting to see them, not one but two ran by!

Although this region (the Little Rann of Kutch) is wolf habitat, we weren't really expecting to see them as this was not in a park or protected area, but in fields and pasture land.
But then wolves here prey almost exclusively on livestock, since their natural wild prey have disappeared long ago. In fact our driver told us there used to be many more wolves earlier, but that they are regularly killed by the rabadis (shepherds).

I don't know the latest theories on dog evolution, but the Indian Grey Wolf has been considered a possible ancestor of the domestic dog Canis familiaris. Some scientists believe that dogs are probably not descended from wolves, but that both had a common ancestor, some canid that is now extinct. However, whether descendent or "cousin," dogs are undoubtedly very closely related to this magnificent and much-maligned animal.

Photos: Dr Sangeeta Dhanuka
Little Rann of Kutch

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