When I went to Ethiopia a year and a half ago, I missed seeing these incredibly endangered animals. Less than 500 remain in and around Bale Mountains National Park. Unlike other wolves, they do not hunt in packs, perhaps because they do not bring down big game, but rather eat the large, big-headed mole rat. The wolves use their extremely long noses to get the rats out of their burrows. Another hunting tactic includes hiding among the herds of gelada baboons, the only remaining grass eating primate in the world. These baboons, like the wolves, live only in Ethiopia. The wolves and the baboons live peacefully together while the wolves hide among the grazing baboons, sneaking upon the unsuspecting rats darting from burrow to burrow. Although the baby gelada are not much bigger than the rats, the wolves refrain from eating them. Like the situation with many other wild animals, human activity ruins their habitat through subsistence farming and cattle grazing. Rabies, caught from domestic dogs, further decimates the population. For more information on these rare wolves and conservation efforts, go to:
gelada baboons–I took this photo summer of 2014
Image from ethiopianwolf.org.