Jackals are true members of the dog family and can actually interbreed with both domestic dogs and wolves.

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Hunting and Feeding

Golden jackals usually live in pairs or small family groups and all members of a family unit play a part in defending their territory and hunting. Families hold territories of two to three square kilometres and these are marked with urine to keep away intruders.

Hunting is usually carried out at night, and although golden jackals are good hunters, they do not normally attack large animals. The jackal's body is well-equipped for chasing prey, with its long legs and light build. It also has excellent hearing for detecting movement of prey. Small prey such as rodents, birds and insects are pounced on in a dog-like fashion. When herds of gazelle are giving birth, several newborns are seized by jackals and taken away to be eaten.

Although golden jackals usually kill their own prey, they will sometimes eat carrion, often scavenging left-overs from lion kills. When they spot a lion making a kill, the jackals howl and this attracts other jackals to the scene. When the lions have had their fill, the jackals rush in to eat any remaining meat. If other scavengers, such as hyaenas and vultures, have also arrived, the jackals bury as much meat as they can.

Golden jackals are mainly carnivorous and over half their diet is made up of animal food. However, quite a large amount of plant food is eaten too, mainly fruit.

 

Read More: Breeding

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