Keepers at Great Britain’s Port Lympne Reserve are celebrating as not one but three litters of endangered African Painted Dog puppies make their public debut.
Photo Credit: Dave Rolfe
The puppies, a mix of males and females, are now three months old and bring the number of African Painted Dogs at the reserve to 43, split between five packs.
Adrian Harland, Animal Director, explained that a recent health check showed that all the pups are strong and healthy. Keepers administered vaccinations and weighed each pup.
African Painted Dogs are one of the most effective hunters in the world and will normally live in packs of 20 to 40 members. Found mainly in Southern Africa, experts estimate that as few as 3,000 African Painted Dogs remain in the wild. Conflicts with humans encroaching on their habitat, illegal hunting, and risk of disease are all factors in their decline.
Breeding programs in zoos and reserves are important to the future of this unique species.
See more photos of the puppies below.