Question Sheet: Saving Africa’s Wild Dogs


Before reading:

  1. What do you think a “painted dog” might look like? 
  2. Why might some people, including scientists, be interested in saving

    Africa’s wild dogs?

During reading:

  1. Describe Rasmussen’s observation schedule when he tracks African painted


  2. When he’s observing wild dogs, why doesn’t Rasmussen put up a tent at night? 
  3. How has the number of painted dogs changed in the last century? 
  4. What sorts of prejudices do painted dogs face? 
  5. How is cooperation important to painted dogs? 
  6. What is the importance of the “magic number” for the size of packs of

    painted dogs?

After reading:

  1. How might your strategies for protecting an endangered animal differ,

    depending on whether the animal is cute or ferocious? 

  2. Would you be willing to live the life that Rasmussen does to learn about and

    help save painted dogs? Why or why not? Why do you think he lives the way he

    does? See

    (David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation) and (Predator Conservation Trust). 

  3. Compare the challenges of saving painted dogs with the challenges of saving

    another endangered species (of your choice). See Kurpis). 

  4. Compare the ways in which an artist like Alison Nicholls can help save

    painted dogs with the ways that a scientist can help save the animal. See Dog Conservation Project). 

  5. How is a wild dog different from a domesticated one? In what ways are they

    the same? See


    (Wild Dog Foundation). 
  6. Where might people get misconceptions about painted dogs? How do you change

    people’s minds and their attitudes to painted dogs? See (Painted

    Dog Conservation).


  1. Describe the environment in which African painted dogs live. Where would you

    travel to see painted dogs? See


  2. Where in Africa are the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans? What makes this an

    interesting area for tourists to visit? See


    (Southern Destinations).


  1. Write a short story about painted dogs based on the moment shown in the

    painting made by Alison Nicholls. 

  2. Suppose that you work for the Painted Dog Conservation Project. Write a

    persuasive letter to someone interested in painted dogs, explaining what painted

    dogs are and why these animals are worth saving.


You have to move 10 elephants to a new location, and you have a choice of two parks. Adventure Park is 100 acres. It produces 40 pounds of vegetation per acre per day. Safari Park is 225 acres. It produces 12 pounds of vegetation per acre each day. If the 10 elephants require approximately 300 pounds of vegetation per day, to which park should you move the elephants?