Friday, December 5, 2014

African Painted Dogs

By Nicole
                African Painted Dogs were introduced at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden over the summer and I have become more interested in them. They are on the endangered species list and there are only about 6,600 left in the world.
                The African Painted Dog is also called the Cape Hunting Dog or its scientific name is Lycaon Pictus. They are a canid of Central to South Africa.
                The African Painted Dog can live about ten years. They grow to about 2.5 to 4 feet tall. They weigh about 44 to 71 pounds. Thane Maynard, of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, said that “They are the most colorful of all wild dogs.”
                They are endangered because of a loss of habitat, human persecution and diseases, some that come from domesticated animals. They are a social animal and hunt in packs. They are a fierce predator. They primarily hunt antelope, warthogs, hares and other small animals. They are diurnal hunters, hunting primarily during the day time. They have few natural predators, like the lion. Hyenas, a kleptoparasite, depend on the African Painted Dogs for their meals.
                 They hunt in packs of about six animals and they chase their prey to exhaustion. When they bring a carcass back to the pack (about ten animals) they let the young eat first.
                I feel that it is through understanding the African Painted Dog that we can help save it from extinction. It is a very interesting animal to watch at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Cincinnati, OH
Gardner, Jane P., African Wild Dogs, copyright 2014, Bearport Publishing Company, Inc., New York

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