Home » South Bend’s Potawatomi Zoo Has New African Painted Dog Pups, but What Are Those Exactly?
Africa Global News News

South Bend’s Potawatomi Zoo Has New African Painted Dog Pups, but What Are Those Exactly?

SOUTH BEND — The Potawatomi Zoo and the Oklahoma City Zoo are the only two American zoos to successfully breed African painted dog pups in recent years, according to South Bend’s executive director, Josh Sisk.

What exactly are African painted dogs, and why are they so rare? Here’s what we know:

What are African painted dogs?

African painted dogs, scientifically classified as Lycaon pictus, are also sometimes referred to as African wild dogs, Cape hunting dogs or African painted wolves. One trait that differentiates them from most other canines is the lack of dew claws. They live natively in sub-Saharan Africa.

In the wild, African painted dogs live in large packs with unique social dynamics and vocalizations, according to Potawatomi Zoo officials. The success of a litter depends on the entire pack, as all adult dogs help to feed and raise the pups. The success of the birth and the likelihood of raising live puppies can be jeopardized if the pack doesn’t work together as they should. 

They generally eat ungulates, large hooved mammals they hunt during the day by use of the dogs’ high stamina and cooperative team hunting style.

How rare are they?

There are fewer than 7,000 adult painted dogs in the wild. Their overall population is declining, and they are considered endangered because of human-wildlife conflict, habitat fragmentation, and disease, according to the Potawatomi Zoo. 

They have been listed as endangered since 1990.

How big are they?

It is the largest African canine, according to the British Museum of Natural History, with adults standing 24 to 30 inches at the shoulders and 40 to 60 inches long, including the tail. They average 40 to 80 pounds.

When can we see them at Potawatomi Zoo?

Zoo officials say they may be able to make their public debut in early 2024 Winter Days events, weather permitting.

Source : South Bend Tribune