There’s a new top dog at Monarto Zoo – or rather four!
We are excited to announce the arrival of four adorable African Wild Dog puppies.
Born to mum, Kibi, and dad, Jengo, on 13 January 2016, the perfect puppies are the first successful litter to be born at Monarto Zoo since 2006.
Last week, the puppies received their first health check which included first round vaccinations, a full body examination and microchipping.
The three-month-old puppies were given a clean bill of health by vets, weighed in at around 8kg each and sexed as three girls and a little boy.
This week, keepers have been working to familiarize the puppies with the sights and sounds of Monarto Zoo, moving them to a yard where they could acquaint themselves with their new neighbours – our Hyena clan!
Today the puppies will make their public debut out on exhibit.
Monarto Zoo Carnivore Team Leader Sarah Washford said the adventurous pups would enjoy exploring their new home.
“They are quite feisty and confident so I think they’ll no doubt have a great time checking out their new digs,” Sarah said.
“It’s been ten years since our last successful litter of African Wild Dog puppies so it’s wonderful to see how great they are doing.
“Wild dog numbers have dropped significantly in the wild so these puppies will have a critical role to play later in life as part of breeding programs to secure the future of this endangered species.”
African Wild Dogs roam the savannahs and lightly wooded areas of Africa and are considered to be among the continent’s most endangered species.
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 are less than 7,000 and their population is quite fragmented.
The African Wild Dog has a unique evolutionary line and can trace its ancestry back some 40 million years.
One of Africa’s most successful predators, almost 80 per cent of all wild dog hunts end in a kill. In comparison, the success rate of lions, often viewed as ultimate predators, is only 30 per cent.
The playful puppies are growing day by day, and with lots of fun activities on offer for the school holidays, there’s no better time to stop by Monarto Zoo and say hello to our wild family!