If you haven’t heard the exciting news yet – we have six paw-fect African Painted Dog puppies! 

Born on 17th March, the adorable new arrivals are the result of our keepers playing cupid and matchmaking Perth Zoo born Muhumhi with Montaro Safari Park male, Gibby. It was puppy-love at first sight with these two! 

Being a first-time mum, we have been giving Muhumhi lots of peace and quiet so she can adjust to motherhood. Meanwhile, dad Gibby has been very attentive, making sure to bring food to Muhumhi to give her the energy she needs to care of the newborns in the den (aww)!

Just like us, African Painted Dogs are very family orientated. When pups are born, the pack are all paws-on-deck when it comes to raising their new family members. Some adult dogs will guard the den to protect the mother and pups from predators while the others go out hunting to bring food back for everyone to eat. Once the pups reach four weeks old, all pack members will start to feed them by regurgitating their food for the little ones to eat and when the pups are old enough to go out hunting, the adults allow the youngsters to eat first whilst keeping watch for predators. Just goes to show, humans aren’t the only species that put their family first.

The birth of these puppies is cause for much celebration. Five decades ago, you would have found the African Painted Dog in most parts of Africa but now they are one of the most endangered carnivores in Africa. Their population is now scattered and reduced to a population of 6,000. The very sad reality is that there is a real risk of this species going extinct in our lifetime. Perth Zoo is part of an important breeding program for the African Painted Dog and the birth of these puppies helps put their species a step further away from extinction.

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

 Muhumhi and her pups have just started to emerge from their den – so get ready for some seriously adorable puppy antics!

We suggest popping past their exhibit in the late afternoon when the pups love to play in the autumnn leaves at dusk. Mum and dad are excellent parents and pretty protective, so please be respectful of the pack, stay quiet and you'll be delighted by what you see. Muhumhi and Gibby thank you for your understanding.