African wild dogs have vanished from a national park in western Zambia in unclear circumstances, authorities said on Monday.
The wild dogs were last spotted in Liuwa National Park in 2013 while operations to establish their whereabouts have proved futile, Gabriel Masaku, Liuwa Area Warden, said.
Masaku said during a meeting with traditional leaders who raised concerns over the disappearance of the wild dogs that it was difficult to trace the animals because they were not fitted with satellite collars, according to state broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.
During the meeting, the traditional leaders said African wild dogs were one of the prides of the national park and wondered how all the packs could have migrated from the ecosystem where they have lived for centuries.
The traditional leaders have since asked the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to expedite the search for the wild dogs.
The official, however, told the traditional leaders that the wild dogs could either have migrated to neighboring countries or wiped out by rabies.
The traditional leaders also gave the department up to mid-October to issue a compressive report regarding the disappearance of the African wild dogs.