Discover the Antics of Algeria’s Golden Jackal

If you happen to spend some time exploring the more rural parts of Algeria, you may happen to come across a small, fox-like dog scurrying around as it looks for food. This is the Golden Jackal (Canis aureus), a type of small, wild dog that is commonly found in southern Asia as well as northern and central Africa.

The Golden Jackal in Algeria, also known as the Common or Asiatic Jackal, has massive, fox-like ears and a somewhat wolf-looking face. Its body is covered with a sort of golden fur with a slight reddish tint and it has a striking white mark on the throat. The cheeks and ear tips may be white while the back may be speckled with silver and black, and the tail is black and bushy. Its legs are generally more chestnut in color and are covered with a shorter fur than that found on the body. The coat may darken during winter months and the overall coloring of the animal may change according to region, season and age. Males are usually larger than females and the average height for a Golden Jackal is 40 centimeters. One of these jackals may weigh between 8 and 10 kilograms, depending on size and availability of food.

After much study it has been determined that these Algerian animals usually live between seven and nine years in the wild. Golden Jackals are commonly found in countries such as Algeria and Morocco, though its habitat is quite widespread. As is often the case with jackals, the Golden Jackal prefers to live in dry, open country where trees are sparse and the grass grows high and golden. This gives it the best coverage and also provides it with a wonderful variety of prey. The jackal’s diet is quite varied and may include birds, fish, rodents, insects, fruit and young gazelles. Hunting is usually done in pairs because of the higher success rates, though Golden Jackals also scavenge quite frequently.

Interestingly, the Golden Jackals are social dogs, living in small family groups consisting of one mating pair and some offspring, which may continue to stay with the family until they find a mate and strike off on their own. After roughly a year of maturing, the dogs will usually mate for life. These dogs also display somewhat curious behavior in that the male will often take food to the female during her pregnancy. The pair will also work together to raise their offspring and this caring sort of behavior, and their diminutive size, often endears them to animal lovers.