They might have the good looks of Fido and the hunting skills of an elite S.W.A.T team but the African Painted Dog is the most endangered large carnivore in Africa. With their habitat shrinking and the increase of human conflict, they’re facing the very real threat of being wiped out in our lifetime.
Watch our video to learn more about how Perth Zoo is helping to ensure the future of this endangered species and what you can do to help!
The African Painted Dog has been around for millions of years but may go extinct in our lifetime. They're the most persecuted carnivore in Africa and once they're gone they're gone. The African Painted Dog is so important because it's a keystone species. If it's in good numbers you know the ecosystem is healthy and doing well.
The African Painted Dog has many threats in the wild. Lions, Hyaenas, Leopards - but the biggest threat to Painted Dogs is man. They not only indiscriminately kill them, farmers shooting them, caught in snares or roadaccident victims but also disease such as parvo virus, distemper and rabies can wipe them out.
The African Painted Dog pack is ruled by the Alpha female. She is the only one that's allowed to breed and after about 65-72 day gestation the puppies are born. We have a new mum in town, Muhumhi who is a first time mum. She has six puppies at foot at the moment which is really keeping her on her toes. There's only around 6000-6500 African Painted Dogs left in the wild so it's crucial we breed African Painted Dogs in captivity as an insurance population. They may go extinct in our lifetime so to have a captive reserve to help bolster the numbers in the wild is a really important outcome. We run the regional program here at Perth Zoo which we're very proud of and these six new puppies are so important to that program.
Around 20 years ago I set up a not-for-profit called Painted Dog Conservation Incorporated. We have seven different projects between Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa working on community development, community education, research, rehabilitation and anti-poaching and snare removal.
You can help support African Painted Dogs by visiting Perth Zoo and donating to our Wildlife Conservation Action fund or even pick up some snare ware at the gift store.
They may go extinct in our lifetime and I'm not going to let that happen. So come along and support us here at Perth Zoo and make sure they do not go extinct.
To help Perth Zoo continue the vital conservation work in Africa, including funding anti-poaching patrol units and snare removals, donate to our Wildlife Conservation Action fund
Did you know that you can help save them from extinction?
Thanks to community donations and the purchase of beautiful snarewear jewellery from the Zoo’s giftshop, Perth Zoo funds work in Africa to prevent the extinction of Painted Dogs with our conservation partner, Painted Dog Conservation Inc. This includes funding community education programs, the removal of snares from the African plains and a Perth Zoo funded wildlife patrol unit.
Perth Zoo funded wildlife protection unit