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Pack of wild dogs escape safari park and go on killing spree

Pack of wild dogs escape safari park and go on killing spree

metro - 1 week ago
A sign at West Midland Safari and Leisure Park, Bewdley in Worcestershire.
Wild dogs broke out of a damaged fence at West Midlands Safari Park during Storm Ciara (Picture: PA )

African wild dogs ravaged sheep and deer to death after breaking out of their compound during Storm Ciara.

16 animals fell victim to the killing spree at West Midland Safari Park on February 9, when fierce winds ripped through the country.

A dozen dogs escaped their enclosure through a damaged gate caused by the worst storm the UK has seen in seven years.

They entered a neighbouring pen housing Persian fallow deer and Barbary sheep and ripped them limb from limb.

The African wild dog or African painted dog (Lycaon pictus) is a canid native to Sub-Saharan Africa. It is classed as endangered as it has disappeared from much of its original range, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks. Uniquely among social carnivores, it is the females rather than the males that scatter from the natal pack once sexually mature, and the young are allowed to feed first on carcasses. The species is a specialised diurnal hunter of antelopes, which it catches by chasing them to exhaustion. African wild dogs have few natural predators, though lions are a major source of mortality.
African wild dogs killed 16 animals after escaping from their compound (Picture: Getty)

A spokeswoman insisted the parks perimeter fencing was safe and there was no chance of the wild animals harming the public.

She said: At no point was there a risk to public safety and there was no danger of any animals escaping the park’s perimeter fencing.

Given their personal attachment to our animals, our staff are extremely saddened by the incident.

She said that the wilds dogs were returned to their compound unharmed and ensured a repeat of the incident would not happen when Storm Dennis hits this weekend.

African wild dogs escape safari park and kill 16 animals (Picture: Roger Kidd/Geograph)
The dogs killed six deer and 10 sheep at West Midlands Safari park (Picture: Roger Kidd/Geograph)

A months worth of rainfall and winds of up to 80mph are expected to barge through the UK tomorrow – the second weekend in a row of danger-to-life weather.

The spokeswoman added: We are aware of the current weather warnings in place for this weekend and will monitor this closely, making our decisions, as always, in the best interests of our animals and public safety.

Six deer and 10 sheep were killed when the dogs attacked.

The species is one of the world’s most endangered mammals with only about 1,400 left in the wild.

The largest populations remain in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The predator, which gathers in packs, hunts species such as gazelles and can reach speeds of more than 44mph.

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