Golden Jackal Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jessica McGowan

Jessica is currently a Kindergarten teacher. She has taught for six years. Jessica has a master's degree in Elementary School Guidance.

Do you know what a jackal is? There are three main species of jackals in the world. In this lesson, you will learn some interesting facts about them and why one species is considered golden.

What is a Jackal?

Imagine being on an adventure in South Asia. It's getting dark and you are sitting around a campfire. In the distance, you notice what looks like two medium-sized, bushy-tailed dogs. You begin to feel nervous because you realize they are probably not dogs. Are they wolves? Are they coyotes?

What you are actually looking at are jackals. A jackal is a small- to medium-sized mammal that is related to the dog family. The three main species of jackal include the black-backed jackal, the side-striped jackal, and the golden jackal. The golden jackal is also referred to as the common jackal. Let's learn more about these dog-like critters!

What Does a Golden Jackal Look Like?

Can you see it? Pull out your binoculars and take a look! Golden jackals are the largest of the jackals, roughly the size of a small wolf. They stand about two feet tall and weigh up to 33 pounds, with males being larger than females. Just like the jackals you're looking at, they often have messy fur, a bushy tail, pointed ears, and a long snout. Their fur can be different shades of yellow to a bright golden color. But wait—they're walking away. Let's follow them!

A Golden Jackal
golden jackal

Where Do They Live?

Golden jackals can be found in Eurasia. This includes southeastern and central Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, and South Asia. They tend to live in savannas, deserts, and dry grasslands. In the summer months, the golden jackal will shed their fur to stay cool, but it grows back during the winter months to keep them warm.

What Do They Eat?

Golden jackals are omnivores, which means it eats both plants and meat. People who live around the areas golden jackals live often think they're a pest because they will go digging around the trash! Golden jackals are most active and hunt for food during the time of dawn and dusk.

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