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African Painted Dog

Contradictory canine!

Download fact sheet (1.15MB PDF)

They hunt like an elite S.W.A.T. team but give the young and frail first crack at their kill.

Description: The African Painted Dog has long legs and a lean body, a relatively small head, large ears, and a short broad muzzle. Its coat varies in pattern and is a mixture of black, grey, yellow and white—hence the name. The African Painted Dog has a tail 31–41 cm long with a white tip.

Diet: African Painted Dogs are carnivores and hunt large prey like wildebeest, zebra and impala.

In the wild: African Painted Dogs live in packs of 30 or more. Only the dominant male and female breed, however, the whole pack takes care of the young. Adults regurgitate their food for the pups to eat until their hunting skills develop by about 12 months.

Threats: Once widespread across Africa, they are now reduced to small, scattered populations. African Painted Dogs are killed by farmers and rangers because they are thought to kill livestock. Painted Dogs also suffer from habitat loss and diseases from domestic dogs.

Saving Wildlife Together: We are working with a conservation outreach program educating local school children in Zambia and supporting painted dog anti-snaring teams to improve wild dog protection.

Find out how you can help.

At Perth Zoo: The African Painted Dog pack can be found in the African Savannah. 

Did you know?

When Painted Dogs become old or sick they are taken care of by the pack rather than being abandoned or killed by other pack members. When the pack goes hunting and makes a kill, pups are allowed to eat first.

Precinct
African Savannah
Other name
Cape Hunting Dog, Hunting Dog, African Wild Dog
Scientific name
Lycaon pictus
Conservation status
Endangered
Body length
76-110 cm
Weight
17-36 kg
Class
Mammal
Gestation
69-73 days
Number of young
6-16
Distribution
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia and Tanzania
Habitat
Plains, semi-desert, savannah, woodlands and forest
Region
Africa

From the blog

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Perth Zoo Map - African Savannah