A pack of elusive Amazon bush dogs was captured on a camera trap video in Bolivia, thrilling wildlife enthusiasts around the world.
Bush dogs roam the rainforests of Central and South America, but it’s extremely rare to see them, let alone capture them on video. These guys are rather small and inconspicuous, weighing only an average of 11 to 18 pounds and sporting a brownish-tan coat that blends easily with the forest floor.
The sneaky dogs are social by nature and hunt in packs during the day, taking time off to shelter together in hollow logs and burrows. Their prey of choice is generally a large rodent like a capybara or paca; however, packs have been known to take down substantially larger prey, like 550-pound tapirs.
The footage of this particular pack was captured at San Miguelito Jaguar Conservation Ranch in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Ranch owner Duston Larson had camera traps set up in the area for several years but had never captured bush dogs on video until now. “This is an extremely rare sighting,” Larson told Mongabay. “We have been camera trapping since 2013 and this is the first video of bush dog that we have been able to capture with one of our trail cams.”
The ranch is surrounded by healthy forest, unlike much of the surrounding agricultural area, and supports a higher than average jaguar population. Larson offers eco-tours of the area, demonstrating to other cattle ranchers that local predators — like jaguars and bush dogs — don’t have to be viewed negatively, and can actually bring in money from tourism. His work is paying off, and vulnerable animals like thee guys are thriving around the ranch.