- Perth Zoo breeding success part of regional program for this threatened species.
- As few as 3,000 African Painted Dogs left in the wild.
The highly threatened African painted dog has had its numbers boosted with the birth of seven pups at Perth Zoo, Environment Minister Bill Marmion announced today.
Mr Marmion said the seven-week-old pups had only recently emerged from their underground den and had their first health check today.
“The pups were weighed, sexed, microchipped and had their individual markings recorded,” he said.
The Minister said the tri-coloured pups spent their first few weeks of life under the watchful eye of their mother, 8-year-old Mara, inside the den where Mara gave birth.
“The first couple of months are the most critical so zoo staff are extremely pleased to see the pups out of the den and other pack members co-operating with the care of the young,” he said.
“The adult dogs have been regurgitating their meals to help feed the pups. This is natural behaviour that ensures the young develop and become part of the group.”
Perth Zoo is part of an Australasian breeding program for this endangered species. This is the fourth litter born at Perth Zoo since 2005 and the second litter for Mara. The zoo’s pack of African painted dogs comprises seven adult males, six adult females and the seven pups.
Mr Marmion said the African painted dog was threatened with extinction in Africa where its numbers have declined dramatically due to human actions including road kill, snares, culling by farmers, introduced diseases from domestic dogs and habitat loss/fragmentation.
In addition to its breeding program, Perth Zoo supports the conservation of African painted dogs in the wild including anti-poaching, snare removal and community education programs in Zambia.
- Since 2008, Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action (WCA) community fundraising program has supported an African Painted Dog anti-poaching unit and education outreach program in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.
- South Luangwa National Park is home to one of the last viable Painted Dog populations in the wild. To donate to WCA, go to perthzoo.com.au.