The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens has announced the healthy birth of 11 endangered African wild dog puppies.
The new pups were born to second-time parents, Beatrix and Kiraka (ker-ah-kuh) on Saturday, January 18, 2020.
African wild dogs can have litters of 2 to 20 puppies. They are born with their eyes closed and will remain in the den until about five weeks old. Once the puppies are about four weeks old and the family unit is progressing normally, the well-baby exams will be scheduled. At this exam, the veterinary team will evaluate the pups’ health and wellbeing, as well as determine their sex.
Currently listed as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), African wild dog populations number fewer than 5,000 individuals. As one of the most endangered African carnivores, African wild dog populations are struggling and in decline due to human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction and canine diseases, like distemper and rabies. The Living Desert supports specific African wild dog conservation projects that work to bolster wild populations.
The Living Desert has set up a special page on their website for “pupdates,” video, and photos, which you can see here.