Taronga Zoo is delighted to announce the arrival of two, five-month-old adorable Dingo pups. The two pups will be making their public debut these summer school holidays, where guests can meet the duo at a brand-new Dingo Keeper Talk or in a specially curated behind-the-scenes Dingo encounter.
The two Dingoes, one male and one female, have both been given Indigenous names from the region they were born. The male has been named Kep Kep which means ‘sweet’, or ‘sugar’ in Wathawurrung language of Victoria, and the female has been named ‘Warada’ which means ‘beautiful’ in Dharug language. The word waratah, which is the floral emblem for the state of New South Wales is derived from the Indigenous word Warada.
A litter of six African Wild Dog pups born on April 24 at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens got their first well-baby exam in late May and were proclaimed healthy and thriving.
Photo Credit: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens
The pups, who represent the first litter for mom Beatrix and dad Kiraka, include five males and one female. This exam was the first time any of the zoo staff interacted directly with the pups. The African Wild Dog Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, recommends using a hands-off approach to allow for natural bonding and development of the pups.
Since birth, the pups have opened their eyes and become more coordinated. At their exam, each weighed between four and five pounds. They’ll soon begin weaning and will start nibbling on meat. Any day now, the pups will start to venture out of their den and be visible to guests.
“We are so happy to learn that the puppies are healthy,” said Allen Monroe, President and CEO of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. “Beatrix has done an outstanding job caring for her puppies, and we are excited to continue watching them grow.”
Following the well-baby exam, the puppies were returned to the den, rubbed with dirt to eliminate the human smell, and then reunited with their mom. The animal care and veterinary teams will continue to closely monitor the family’s activity through den cameras which allow Beatrix and the puppies plenty of space, comfort, and security.
Currently listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), fewer than 5,000 African Wild Dogs remain on the African continent. As one of the most endangered African carnivores, African Wild Dog populations are in decline due to human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction and canine diseases, like distemper and rabies. The Living Desert supports specific African Wild Dog conservation projects that work to bolster wild populations.
Last week, Zoo Miami’s newest litter of endangered African Painted Dogs received their 8-week exam which included getting weighed, having blood drawn, and receiving vaccinations for distemper. This exam represents only the second time that the puppies have been separated from their mother Little Foot, who is providing excellent care. The care team proclaimed all five of the puppies healthy and on track with their growth and development.
Photo/Video Credit: Ron Magill/ZooMiami
These pups represent the first successful births of these endangered carnivores at Zoo Miami in nearly 20 years. You can read about their public debut here on ZooBorns.
The breeding of Little Foot with Evander, the pups’ father, was carefully planned as part of a program designed to ensure genetic diversity among zoo-dwelling members of this species, which is among Africa’s most endangered carnivores. Fewer than than 6,000 individuals remain in the wild.
The greatest threats to African Painted Dogs are being shot by land owners who consider them a threat to their livestock, fragmented habitat, and transmission of rabies and distemper from domestic dogs.
Zoo Miami proudly announces the debut of a litter of highly endangered African Painted Dog puppies. The litter of one male and four females was born on January 23 and has been in seclusion in a den with their mother since until last week. Because this was the first litter two-year-old mother Little Foot, extreme caution was exercised in ensuring that mother and puppies were not disturbed for the first several weeks of the puppies’ lives.
Photo Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami
These pups are the first successful births of this species at Zoo Miami in nearly 20 years. The births are part of a carefully planned breeding program to help ensure the survival of these endangered carnivores.
Until now, mother and puppies have been observed through a closed-circuit television camera to minimize disturbance. After the staff determined that Little Foot was caring for her puppies properly, neonatal exams were performed on each of the five pups. Until this exam, none of the staff had handled the pups. The exam included collecting blood, general physical exams, deworming treatment, and the placement of a microchip for identification. At six weeks of age, the puppies ranged in weight from 6 – 7.5 pounds. There will be another appointment in the near future to administer vaccinations.
Following the exams, the puppies were given access to the exhibit with their mother and father Evander for the first time. After initial trepidation, they followed their mother out onto the habitat. Though Evander showed extreme interest in the pups, Little Foot did not allow him to get close to the puppies. Instead, Evander observed the pups intently from afar.
With fewer than 6,000 individuals left in the wild, the African Painted Dog is one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent. Found in isolated pockets of eastern and southern Africa, they occur in packs of six to 20 individuals. African Painted Dogs’ cooperative hunting methods are one of the most successful of any carnivore. Only the alpha pair reproduce within the pack and the female can have as many as 20 puppies which are raised cooperatively by the other pack members.
The largest threats to African Painted Dogs, which are also known as African Wild Dogs, are being shot by land owners who consider them a threat to their livestock, fragmented habitat, and disease transmission such as rabies and distemper introduced by domestic Dogs.
The biggest Bush Dog litter ever born at Chester Zoo has emerged from its den.
The six pups, born to mother Mana, age 7, and dad Franco, age 4, have made their public debuts after spending their first few weeks of life tucked away in their underground burrows.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo
Keepers believe the first of the sextuplets arrived on May 13, which is when they first heard tiny cries coming from the dens as they performed their morning rounds.
The litter, which is above the average size for Bush Dogs and is made up of two boys and four girls, is the largest to be born at the zoo.
Now, the youngsters have come out to play and have begun exploring the outside world under the watchful eye of their parents.
Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals at the zoo, said, “Mana is doing a wonderful job of caring for her new pups but with it being her biggest litter ever, she’s certainly got her paws full. We’ve seen fairly big litters of four or five pups born in the past, but never have we had a litter of six.
The zoo’s Bush Dog pack now contains 16 individuals. In the next few weeks, the newest pups will be weighed and sexed by the care team.
Bush Dogs belong to the canine family and live in small isolated populations in the wet forests and grasslands of Central and South America. They have evolved over thousands of years to have a web of skin between their toes, which makes them excellent swimmers.
Sightings of Bush Dogs in the wild are becoming increasingly rare with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listing the species as Near Threatened. Their wild numbers have dropped by more than 25% in just 12 years. This decline is caused by destruction of natural areas for farms and other human developments, poaching for their meat, and diseases contracted from domestic dogs.
Chester Zoo has supported partners in Misiones, Argentina, where conservationists helped to create a biological corridor of habitat for a range of carnivorous species to help improve the movement between different areas of fragmented forest.
Seven endangered African Painted Dog pups have made their first public appearances at Chester Zoo.
The playful pups scampered out of their underground den, led by their mother K’mana who had kept them safely tucked away since giving birth to them on November 19. Also known as African Wild Dogs, it is the first time the endangered animals have ever been bred at the zoo.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo
Tim Rowlands, Curator of Mammals at Chester Zoo, said, “After spending six-weeks deep inside their den under the watchful eyes of mum, the pups have now come out and they’ve most certainly come out to play! These rare pups are incredibly important new arrivals and a major boost to the international breeding programme which is working to try and ensure a brighter future for these impressive and beautiful animals.”
African Painted Dogs are one of Africa’s most threatened carnivores and are listed as Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Conservation experts fear there may now be fewer than 1,500 breeding Dogs left in isolated regions of eastern and southern Africa.
Mike Jordan, the zoo’s Collections Director, added, “With human populations increasing in Africa and villages expanding, Painted Dog numbers have plummeted as their habitat is converted to farmland. This puts them in direct conflict with local people, where they are hunted and poisoned for killing livestock and exposed to infectious diseases transferred from domestic Dogs.”
For more than 10 years, Chester Zoo has been a vital part of the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust African Wild Dog Programme in Tanzania, working to return healthy and genetically diverse populations of Painted Dogs back to the wild. Zoo experts have helped conservationists working in Africa to re-establish viable populations of Painted Dogs, bred in special protected breeding areas in Tanzania, in two national parks – Tsavo and Mkomazi.
African Painted Dogs are named for their mottled coat with splotches of black, yellow, white, and brown. They live in packs and hunt cooperatively to bring down prey many times their size. They are known for their speed, reaching 44 miles per hour, and their stamina during hunts.
Eleven endangered African Painted Dog puppies were given their first hands-on health check following their birth in April at Perth Zoo. The pups also received their names!
Photo Credit: Alex Cearnes (1,2,4); Perth Zoo (3,5)
The puppies were each individually medically assessed, weighed, vaccinated just like domestic Dogs and their sex determined by two teams of veterinarians who worked efficiently to reunite them with their protective parents quickly.
Senior Zoo Keeper Becky Thomasson said, “Since their birth in April, we’ve taken a hands-off approach to allow the pack to develop as they would naturally in the wild, but it is important to give each of the new arrivals a veterinary examination.”
Thomasson said the exam revealed that the pack includes seven females and four males. “Importantly they were all in excellent shape, with one tipping the scales over six kilograms [13 pounds], a very healthy weight for a 12 week old African Painted Dog pup!”
The zoo held a naming contest for the pups, and chose these names suggested by fans: Aisha, Baraka, Chikondi, Kamali, Muhumhi, Onika, Skabenga, Tokwe, Tamba, Umfazi, and Zuberi
The eleven puppies were the result of matchmaking a Perth Zoo-born adult female with a male from Altina Wildlife Park, introducing a new bloodline into the regional breeding program.
“Mother Kisuri and father Hasani have been perfect first time parents. They let the pups eat first, but also discipline them, setting the boundaries when required.”
“With less than 6,000 of these Dogs in the wild, there is a real risk of this species going extinct in our lifetime,” said Thomasson. “Zoo breeding programs have never been more important and the birth of these eleven puppies helps put their species a step further away from extinction.”
Idaho Falls Zoo is thrilled to announce the extraordinary birth of a male African Lion cub! The cub was born February 17 to first-time parents, Kimani and Dahoma.
“Unfortunately, shortly after his birth, the cub had to be removed from his mom to be treated for a medical issue. We are pleased to report that he has completely recovered and is almost ready to be returned to his mother,” states Zoo Veterinarian, Dr. Rhonda Aliah.
Because of the advanced age of the parents and the unique genetics of the couple, this adorable little guy is extremely important to the captive African Lion population in North American zoos. Although reintroducing this genetically valuable cub to his parents is essential for his development, the process is not simple or straightforward.
To lessen any risk, the cub will be returned to his mother when he is bigger and more mobile. The AZA and other zoo professionals explored all possible options for the cub. “Everyone agreed that the only option available was to keep the cub at the Idaho Falls Zoo and eventually reintroduce him to his parents,” states Aliah.
When the time comes for the cub to re-join his family, a Lion manager from the Denver Zoo, who has experience with conducting these types of reintroductions and who serves as an advisor to the AZA’s Lion SSP, will be onsite during the reintroduction. The Lion manager will help interpret behaviors and guide zoo staff during what will be a very stressful and potentially dangerous, yet important, time in the cub’s life.
In the meantime, the cub needs to be socialized. Lions are the most social of the big cat species, and sociability is incredibly important for behavioral and psychological reasons. Young cubs rely on other members of their pride to teach them how to be adults. A cub that has been away from his parents is at risk for not being easily accepted back into the pride and could be injured or killed when reintroduced.
So, how do you keep a Lion cub social without being around other Lions? ...meet Justice, another new member of the zoo family.
Photo Credits: Idaho Falls Zoo (Images 1 & 4) / City of Idaho Falls News (Images 2,3,5)
Justice is a not a lion, but a Great Pyrenees with wonderful mothering instincts. Two-year-old Justice is a rescue dog that has had at least one litter of puppies. When rescued, representatives with the Humane Society of the Upper Valley found her alone caring for her puppies, as well as a weak sheep. Her puppies have all been rehomed, and now Justice has a new role: nursemaid to a rambunctious two-month old African Lion cub!
Zoo Curator, Darrell Markum, explains, “An important aspect of animal development, particularly with baby carnivores, is having an adult animal teach ‘animal etiquette.’ This includes not biting other animals hard enough to injure them and not using your claws to climb on your elders. Justice is a very patient teacher.”
Given the unique situation, the use of domestic dogs to raise young carnivores is an accepted practice in modern zoos.
“He’s more than just a large, warm pillow for the cubs. Blakely is the adult in the room. He teaches them proper Tiger etiquette by checking them when they’re getting too rough or aggressive,” said Dawn Strasser, head of Cincinnati Zoo’s nursery staff. “This is something that their human surrogates can’t do.”
Photo Credits: Mark Dumont, DJJam, Lisa Hubbard
The cubs, named Chira (because she was treated by a chiropractor), Batari (which means goddess) and Izzy (which means promised by God,) would have received similar cues from their mom. Because being with her is not an option, Blakely is the next best thing. His baby-rearing resume includes experience with Cheetahs, an Ocelot, a Takin, a Warthog, Wallabies, Skunks, and Bat-eared Foxes. Last year, to recognize Blakely’s nurturing nature, the City of Cincinnati proclaimed October 19 to be Blakely Day!
“My team can feed and care for the Tiger cubs, but we can’t teach them the difference between a play bite and one that means ‘watch out’. So, that’s Blakely’s job,” said Strasser. “Just a little time with him at this early age will help them learn behaviors that will come in handy when they meet Tigers at other zoos in the future.” The cubs will move to the Zoo’s Cat Canyon this summer after they have received their last round of immunizations.
Malayan Tigers are Critically Endangered, with fewer than 250 breeding-age adults living in the wild. Less than 100 of these Cats live in zoos, making these three cubs – and Blakely’s job as caregiver – incredibly important to the effort to save Malayan Tigers.
See more photos of Blakely and the Tiger cubs below.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden keepers recently selected some “cheesy” names for their African Painted Dog pups. The puppy cheese tray, born October 16 to mom Imara and dad Kwasi, includes Nacho and Muenster (the two males). The female pups have been named: Bleu, Brie, Gouda, Queso, Colby, Swiss, Cotija, Mozzarella and Feta.
“The only thing our primary Painted Dog keepers love as much as dogs is cheese! The cheese theme had an added bonus of offering a large variety of name options,” said Christina Gorsuch, Curator of Mammals at the Cincinnati Zoo and Vice Coordinator of the African Painted Dog Species Survival Plan (SSP).
“African Painted Dogs are born white and black with portions of the black turning to gold when they are 6-8 weeks old. The white marks remain the same from birth; these unique markings will help keepers identify each pup for future vaccinations, physical exams, and day-to-day care. They will eventually learn their names which allow keepers to train them individually and teach important husbandry behaviors,” Gorsuch continued.
All the Painted Dog pack members are participating in the rearing of the eleven pups (one of the litter of twelve did not survive).
“The pups are seven weeks old and completely weaned from their mom’s milk onto meat. The entire pack is fed together 3-4 times a day in order to keep up with the demand of the growing puppy appetites. Anything the pups don’t eat is consumed by the four adults, who will regurgitate meat for the pups, throughout the day and night. They have incredible puppy energy and are running circles around the adults; everything is new and very exciting for them,” said Gorsuch.
Mom, Imara:Photo Credits: Cincinnati Zoo/ Kathy Newton (Image 2)
African Painted Dogs (Lycaon pictus) are one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent, with fewer than 5,000 dogs concentrated in parts of southern and eastern Africa. There are approximately 139 animals (55 males, 49 females, and 35 unknown sex) distributed among 33 North American Zoos and 564 in Zoos worldwide. The Cincinnati Zoo is currently home to 15 Painted Dogs.
The pack at Cincinnati has access to the outdoor exhibit when temperatures are above 50 degrees, so the first public viewing of the pups is likely to be in early spring.
African Painted Dogs, known for their large, round ears and beautiful, multi-colored coats, could once be found all over Africa. Today they are one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent, with fewer than 5,000 dogs concentrated in parts of southern and eastern Africa.
The Cincinnati Zoo supports the conservation of African Painted Dogs and other wildlife in southern Tanzania through the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP). The RCP works with local communities to ensure the survival of carnivores and people in and around Ruaha National Park. The third largest African Painted Dog population lives in the Ruaha region and is also home to 10% of Africa’s Lions.
The RCP documents the presence and location of wildlife species through community-reported sightings and photos taken by motion-triggered cameras, or camera traps. The project aims to gather baseline data on carnivore numbers and ecology and work with the local communities to reduce human-carnivore conflict.