Historically, dholes have had a poor reputation, leading to conflicts with humans, such as intentional poisonings and the stealing of their prey.

Most of the dholes that live outside or in the fringes of core protected areas are highly vulnerable to conflict with humans.

During a radio-tracking study in the buffer zone of the Kanha Tiger Reserve in central India in 2000, the surveyors discovered that at least 16 out of the 24 dholes in a particular pack died all of a sudden from lethal poisoning, indicating conflict with humans.

Dholes have become an indirect food source for the residents of the jungles in Asia. Dholes do not attack human beings and usually retreat at the sight of a person. They are super-sensitive skittish, docile, animals. Taking advantage of this fact, human residents of the jungle follow dholes when they are hunting in order to steal their kills. After a dhole has taken down its prey, humans will scare it away and steal the carcass.

Historically, dholes have had a poor reputation, falling into the stereotypical category of the “big bad wolf” and being referred to as “pests of the jungle.” Although this occurs on rare occasions, dholes can attack livestock at the cost of the owner. Due to this, they have suffered heavily from local perceptions as problem predators and livestock killers. If a dhole is found to have killed livestock, herders poison the carcasses, which can unintentionally wipe out an entire pack and kill other carnivores and vital scavengers, like vultures. Retaliatory killing is a primary factor limiting dhole conservation.

Sources: (Carmignani; Chacon, 2000; Daniel, 2014; Hance, 2015)
Image: Guwashi999


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