Puppy love is certainly in the air at Monarto Safari Park with the very exciting birth of eight African Painted Dog puppies!
Born to first-time mum, Bulu, overnight on April 27th 2021, the puppies are being lovingly attended to and cared for. Keepers are able to watch the pups’ progress from a CCTV camera installed inside the den.
Monarto Safari Park’s Senior Keeper of Carnivores Jon Allon says the new family is doing well.
“All of the puppies look to be in great condition and Bulu is doing a fantastic job in caring for them,” says Jon.
“African Painted Dogs are rapid growers with puppies emerging from the den between 3 to 4 weeks old and starting to eat meat around that same age”
The birth of the adorable litter isn’t just fantastic for the regional breeding program working to save the species via insurance populations, but marks a positive social dynamic between all members of the group.
“Our current pack was only established in the last few years, so the birth of puppies should bring further strength and cohesion to the pack. In the wild all members of the dog pack provide food and support to a lactating female at the den.
“African Painted Dogs can have larger litters than any other carnivore species, with the potential of up to 16 pups born in a single litter. However, the amount of food needed to sustain that many individuals means breeding is generally limited to the dominant pair in wild packs.”
African Painted Dogs are one of Africa’s most successful predators, hunting in large packs that pursue their prey in long open chases. Nearly 80% of all wild dog hunts end in a kill.
With ancestry that can be traced back some 40 million years, this species has a unique evolutionary line and is one of the rarest species on the African continent.
They once ranged through 39 countries with a population of more than 500,000 individuals that thrived through the turn of the twentieth century. Today, their numbers total less than 7,000 and their population is quite fragmented.
Their shrinking world has been impacted primarily by habitat fragmentation, human interference, including poaching and road kills, and the spread of domestic dog disease.
The puppies are currently growing in the privacy of a den in the main drive through exhibit with their mum, but once they emerge from the den by four weeks of age, they may start to be visible to members of the public.
The African Painted Dog exhibit at Monarto Safari Park is proudly sponsored by HiLine Home Modifications.
Mother’s Day at Zoos SA
Just as Zoos SA is celebrating new mum Bulu’s delivery, they will also be celebrating human mums on Mother’s Day. Mums and mum figures visiting Monarto Safari Park and Adelaide Zoo will be treated to a free chocolate on arrival. A number of competitions for mums are also taking place.
For more details on Mother’s Day:
Mother’s Day at Adelaide Zoo including HomeStart Finance competition, spin to win wheel and Zoos SA’s members’ comp click here
Mother’s Day at Monarto Safari Park including HomeStart Finance competition and members’ comp click here