Painted Dog Pack

While I was looking at videos for last week’s zoo post, I stumbled across this one, and it was too cute not to share.

This was the first time the pack of 10 African Painted Dog puppies had been released into their outdoor enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. Adorbs!

The dogs are native to sub-Saharan Africa, and the coat color pattern on each dog is unique. According to National Geographic, African Painted Dogs, also known as African Wild Dogs, live in packs that are usually dominated by a monogamous breeding pair. The female has a litter of 2 to 20 pups, which are cared for by the entire pack. These dogs are very social, and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members. Social interactions are common, and the dogs communicate by touch, actions, and vocalizations.

African wild dogs hunt in formidable, cooperative packs of 6 to 20 (or more) animals. Larger packs were more common before the dogs became endangered. They are faced with shrinking room to roam in their African home. They are also quite susceptible to diseases spread by domestic animals.

The Cincinnati Zoo reports at the turn of the 20th century there were more than 500,000 painted dogs in 39 countries. Today, there are only 3,000 dogs in Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa combined. Over 500 of the animals are in zoos.

Sadly, the proud papa of this pack, Brahma, passed away about a month after the video was released. His abdomen was filled with fluid from an unknown cause. Brahma was nine years old, which is young for a captive wild dog to die. He was, by all reports, a great daddy. “He helped with the delivery, cleaning, feeding and care of the pups, which is normal behavior for painted dog dads. It’s rare, however, for all pups in a painted dog litter to survive. He is part of the reason that all ten pups are healthy and thriving,” said primary painted dog keeper Dana Burke.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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