Friday 30 September 2016

Dublin Zoo welcomes SEVEN new pups to expanding African painted dog brood

Tomás Heneghan

Published 11/08/2016 | 13:26

Credit: Patrick Bolger
Credit: Patrick Bolger

Dublin Zoo has welcomed the birth of seven new African painted dogs at the zoo recently.

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The new additions have swelled the numbers of African painted dogs at the zoo from four to eleven.

Care team leader at the zoo, Helen Clarke explained: “We are very pleased with how the new additions to the pack are settling in. African painted dogs are an endangered species so the arrival of seven pups to Dublin Zoo is of great significance to us.”

The dogs were born five weeks ago but have only just been taken out into the open by their mother after spending a number of weeks underground.

Credit: Patrick Bolger
Credit: Patrick Bolger

According to the zoo as the mother prepared for the birth she created a deep burrow in the ground, which made it difficult for the care team at the zoo to assess the situation.

The zoo said newly born African painted dogs do not open their eyes for approximately three weeks and it is only at that point the mother will bring them above ground for the first time.

African painted dogs may also be known as African wild dogs or hunting dogs and have a unique coat pattern which makes them easily recognisable.

There are also only an estimated 6,000 African painted dogs in the wild at present.

Last month the zoo welcomed another new addition to the Phoenix Park family with the arrival of a new baby gorilla, however zoo keepers could not get close enough to identify the gender of the new arrival at the time.

According to Fáilte Ireland’s recent visitor attitudes survey for 2015, Dublin Zoo saw 1,105,005 visitors in total last year making it the third most visited tourist attraction in the country.

Credit: Patrick Bolger
Credit: Patrick Bolger

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