Denver Zoo visitors have a chance to see four endangered African wild dog puppies born in November and released into the Benson Predator Ridge yard Feb. 16. The puppies were in their private …
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Denver Zoo visitors have a chance to see four endangered African wild dog puppies born in November and released into the Benson Predator Ridge yard Feb. 16.
The puppies were in their private maternity den for three months, being cared for by their mother, Tilly, according to a news release from the zoo. Keepers say the three male puppies, Nigel, Theodore Roosevelt, and Livingstone, and one female puppy, Cholula, are healthy, curious and playful.
Guests can see the puppies from noon to 2 p.m. every day in the Pahali Ya Mwana yard through February, and in various habitats throughout Benson Predator Ridge starting March 1, depending on the weather.
With a worldwide population estimated at 6,600, African wild dogs — also known as African painted dogs — are classified as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, according to the news release. Habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities and infectious disease are among the reasons for the endangerment.
Denver Zoo is a leader in the management of African wild dogs within the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and has successfully produced 32 puppies since 2001, said the release.
African wild dogs are native to the open woodlands and plains of sub-Saharan Africa. Full-grown adults weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and stand 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Unique characteristics of these slim, long-legged dogs include distinct yellow, black, brown and white markings, large round ears that contribute to their sharp sense of hearing, and front paws that have only four toes, rather than the typical five found on other canine species.
For more information about Denver Zoo, including hours and admissions, daily schedules, events and membership, go to DenverZoo.org or call 720-337-1400.
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