Oklahoma City Zoo Welcomes Birth of Endangered Dog Pups
Thursday , June 20 2024
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Home / News & Cause / Oklahoma City Zoo Welcomes Birth of Endangered African Painted Dog Pups
African painted dogs Pele and Guy appear with a new pup at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Jennifer D'Agostino/Oklahoma City Zoo

Oklahoma City Zoo Welcomes Birth of Endangered African Painted Dog Pups

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden recently welcomed the birth of six African-painted dog pups, announced by zoo officials. Born on November 5 and 6 to first-time mother Pele, a 3-year-old African-painted dog who joined the zoo in October 2021, this marks the zoo’s first litter of African-painted dogs since 2016, as highlighted by Tyler Boyd, the zoo’s curator of carnivores.

African painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, are among the world’s most endangered mammals, facing a significant decline in their wild population from around 11,800 dogs in 2010 to approximately 5,000 by 2022, according to the Oklahoma City Zoo. The zoo emphasizes its extensive support for these endangered animals within the zoo and in their natural habitat.

Tyler Boyd emphasized the importance of supporting conservation programs targeting African-painted dogs to raise awareness and contribute to the species’ preservation. The zoo shared heartwarming video footage on Facebook featuring Pele and her adorable puppies spending time together in their den.

Caretakers utilize video-monitoring equipment to observe the pack, noting that the pups are nursing regularly, indicating their good health and thriving condition. According to Boyd, the focus is on allowing the mother to bond with the new additions behind the scenes, which is vital for their success.

African-painted dogs are recognized for their distinctive tri-colored coat, prominent ears, and fluffy white tails. Described as social animals, they typically live in groups ranging from two to 40 dogs. The largest remaining populations of these endangered mammals are found in southern Africa and southern parts of East Africa, as the World Wildlife Fund reported. The Oklahoma City Zoo has been caring for painted dogs since 1972 and currently houses nine individuals of this species.

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