The Living Desert is once again welcoming a new pack of painted pups.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Beatrix and Kiraka, the mother and father African wild dogs, had welcomed their second litter. The 11 puppies were born on January 18. Beatrix and Kiraka's last litter came into the world on April 24, 2019.
“We are absolutely thrilled to share the news of these African wild dog puppies as the first birth of the new decade,” Allen Monroe, President and CEO of The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens said in a statement. “Beatrix appears to be relaxed and comfortable with her new arrivals, and things are progressing as expected.”
African wild dogs, also known as 'painted dogs', can have litters ranging in size from 2 to 22. In April, Beatrix and Kiraka welcomed six puppies.
“The animal care and veterinary teams have been and will continue to closely monitor Beatrix and the puppies through den cameras which allow the family to have plenty of space, comfort, and security,” RoxAnna Breitigan, Director of Animal Care at The Living Desert said in a statement. “We are so excited to share this wonderful news, and we will continue to give the family unit the opportunity to grow and bond without unnecessary intervention.”
African wild dogs are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimated population of 5,000.
"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," read the Living Desert's release on the new litter. "The Living Desert supports specific African wild dog conservation projects that work to bolster wild populations."
The Living Desert wild dog births come following specific recommendations as part of the African wild dog Special Survival Plan (SSP), which is a cooperative breeding program that enables "healthy, genetically diverse, and self-sustaining populations in human care".
For more information and further updates on the painted dog puppies, go to www.LivingDesert.org/Pupdate .