Content via National Geographic

One of the Amazon rain forest’s most elusive inhabitants, the short-eared dog, has been caught on video.

About the size of a fox, these jungle canines are incredibly difficult to spot. In fact, a journey to the Amazon is far more likely to yield a jaguar sighting than a glimpse of a wild short-eared dog.

“They are rare and hard to see,” says veterinarian and ecologist Renata Leite Pitman, a researcher at Duke University and National Geographic grantee. She’s been studying short-eared dogs, which only live in the Amazon basin, for 14 years. In that time, she’s managed to capture and affix tracking collars to only five of the animals.

“They are very timid, totally different from pets,” Leite Pitman says. And their dark coloring helps them blend in with the rain forest underbrush and avoid predators.

Catching the dog (Atelocynus microtis) on video was a complete surprise.

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