Two Golden Jackal pups recently emerged from their mother’s den, at NaturZoo Rheine. Until their recent venture out into the exhibit, keepers were unsure how many pups were safely tucked in the burrow.
The Golden Jackal (also known as Common Jackal, Asiatic Jackal, or Reed Wolf) is a canid native to north and northeastern Africa, southeastern and central Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia.
Although similar to a small grey wolf, the Golden Jackal is distinguished by a lighter tread, a more slender build, a sharper muzzle and a short tail. Its winter fur also differs from the wolfs by its more fulvous-reddish color.
Golden Jackals are known to mate for life, and they will reproduce for about eight years. Young jackals are born in a den. Each litter can contain up to nine pups, but two to four are the average number. The pups are nursed for about 8 weeks and then begin weaning by eating regurgitated food. They begin to eat solid food at three months and are sexually mature at eleven months. The Golden Jackal is not a pack animal.
The Golden Jackal is classified as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is fairly common throughout their range, with high densities observed in areas with abundant food and cover. A minimum population estimate of over 80,000 is estimated for the Indian sub-continent. Due to their tolerance of dry habitats and their omnivorous diet, the Golden Jackal can live in a wide variety of habitats. They are opportunistic and will venture into human habitation at night to feed on garbage.
More adorable pics, below the fold!