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The Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC Zoo) announces the birth of six endangered African Painted Dog pups on Friday, December 08.
OKC Zoo shared the good news through their Facebook account and wrote, “We are thrilled to share that on November 5, African painted dog, Pele (3), gave birth to six painted dog pups!”
They revealed that Pele, who came to the Zoo in October 2021, is a first-time mom and has been doing a great job at taking care and nursing all six of her pups.
Furthermore, OKC Zoo revealed that this is the first litter of painted dog pups ever since they opened their Predator Pass pack in 2021 and the first at the Zoo since 2016.
In a news release, the Zoo mentioned that caretakers are able to monitor the family through video monitoring equipment. And that they “have seen the pups nursing regularly, a significant indicator that they are healthy and thriving.”
Tyler Boyd, the Zoo’s Curator of Carnivores, said, “We are currently focused on letting mom continue to bond with the newest additions behind the scenes, along with the rest of the pack—something vital to their success.”
According to OKC Zoo, the endangered species has seen its population plummet over the decade “from an estimated 11,800 in 2010 to just about 5,000 in the wild in 2022.”
Boyd said that the Zoo has a rich history of support for the African Painted dogs, both at the zoo and in the wild.
He reveals, “By supporting conservation programs specifically targeting African painted dogs, we can not only increase awareness about this dynamic species to our guests here at home, but also continue to learn about this remarkable species through programs strategically created to conserve African painted dogs throughout their range, helping save this species from extinction.”
OKC Zoo has been caring for African Painted Dogs since 1972 and currently has nine painted dogs as part of their animal family.