Researchers at IISER Kolkata study the behaviour of free-ranging dogs in India to understand their food preferences.
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Some curse them, throw stones at them, beat them, and even kill them, while a few pet them and form a special bond! Domestic dogs, or Canis lupus familiaris, are known to be our 'best friends'. Yet, nearly 70-80% of the 90 crore dogs globally, about 70 crores, are free-ranging and include stray and feral dogs. How do they survive and thrive in the dangerous streets without our active care? It turns out, just like us, they have a 'family' that makes it possible.
Dogs are long considered our best friends. Since the days of our civilizations, it is thought that dogs have started to share the cities that we build and have lived in them - eating up our wastes, protecting our livestocks, guarding us and sometimes irking us with their behaviour. Stray dogs are now seen as a menace more than as loving inhabitants of our cities. An increasing number of huma-dog conflicts are a testimony to that. A new research has thrown some insights into the behavioural aspects of stray dogs and has identified factors and measures that can help us make peace with the strays. By being aware and understanding of the behaviours of strays, a lot of such conflicts can be avoided, say the researchers.