Name controversy

A controversy began in the late 1990s when conservationists working to protect Lycaon Pictus said that their most common name, “African Wild Dog”, was a source of confusion and prejudice. Conservationist Greg Rasmussen wrote in 1998:

“The name ‘wild dog’ developed during an era of persecution of all predators when the name applied to feral dogs, hyenas, jackals and the cape hunting dogs (Pringle, 1980). ‘Painted’ aside from being a direct translation of the specific epithet, accurately describes the unique varicoloured markings of each individual. Apart from being misleading, continued use of the name ‘wild dog’ does little more than further fuel negative attitude and prejudice which is detrimental to conservation efforts.”

Rasmussen is one of the founders of the Painted Hunting Dog Research Project [http://www.painteddog.org/]. He advocates using the name “painted hunting dog”.

Other names include Wildehond in Afrikaans, and Mbwa mwitu in Swahili.

(Other Names: African Hunting Dog, African Wild Dog, Apeete, Aye Dur, Cape Hunting Dog, Cynhyene, Eeyeyi, Eminze, Imbwa, Inpumpi, Kikwau, Kite Kya Negereni, Kulwe, Licaon, Liduma, Ligwami, Loup-peint, Lycaon, Mauzi, Mbawa, Mbwa Mwitu, Mbughi, Mhuge, Mulula, Muthige, Nzui, Omusege, Osuyiani, Oulay, Painted Dog, Prude, Sudhe, Suyian, Suyo, Suyondet, Takula, Tri-colored Dog, Wildehond, Yeyii).