AboutZoos, Since 2008


Endan­gered African hunt­ing dog born in Edin­burgh Zoo, their first

pub­lished 30 Octo­ber 2013 | mod­i­fied 26 July 2014

Car­ni­vore keep­ers at Edin­burgh Zoo today announced the birth of the Zoo’s first ever African hunt­ing dog. The announce­ment coin­cides with the reopen­ing of the hunt­ing dog walk­way, which keep­ers had closed to vis­i­tors in August as they sus­pected Jet, the pack’s non-​dominant female, was pregnant.

African huntingdog pup EdinbZooWith less than 5,500 hunt­ing dogs (Lycaon pic­tus) left in the wild, the birth of this puppy is an immense achieve­ment for Edin­burgh Zoo. Habi­tat frag­men­ta­tion is one of the biggest fac­tors in the hunt­ing dogs’ decline, as the packs need a large range in order to remain sus­tain­able. Hunt­ing dogs are also heav­ily per­se­cuted by farm­ers, despite rarely attack­ing live­stock. Edu­ca­tion and con­ser­va­tion breed­ing pro­grammes such as the one Edin­burgh Zoo is part of remain cru­cial to sav­ing this species from extinc­tion. The African hunt­ing dog’s sta­tus in the wild is regarded as Endan­gered accord­ing the IUCN Red List of Threat­ened Species™.

We are all really excited about the arrival of this puppy. Hunt­ing dogs, like many other pack ani­mals, are very dif­fi­cult to breed successfully
Dar­ren McGarry, Head of Liv­ing Col­lec­tions at Edin­burgh Zoo »

McGarry said: “Although we don’t know its sex yet, this pup is prov­ing to be a real bun­dle of atti­tude. It’s very bold for such a young age and we’ve often spot­ted it tug­ging along joints of meat that are twice its size. All of the dogs have been seen feed­ing it and it looks like an estab­lished mem­ber of the pack.”

And McGarry con­tin­ues: “Most first-​time moth­ers can be very ner­vous, so we decided to close the enclo­sure to vis­i­tors in order to give Jet and her pup the best chance of a suc­cess­ful birth. Hunt­ing dogs have a very intri­cate social hier­ar­chy and if they feel threat­ened this can cause the mother to reject her pups.”

In two weeks’ time, the puppy will be caught up for its first health check and to be sexed. As hunt­ing dog pup­pies are born black and white and only start to get their mot­tled mark­ings from when they are two months old, the keep­ers will only name the feisty lit­tle pup once its colours have come through.

Although Edin­burgh Zoo’s pack has two males, Blade and Two Socks, only Blade the dom­i­nant male will breed with the pack’s females. Usu­ally, the dom­i­nant female will be the one to have pups but it is not uncom­mon for lower-​ranking females to also give birth. The Zoo’s keep­ers are con­fi­dent this pup will be the first of many for their pack.

(Source: Edin­burgh Zoo press release, 23.10.2013)

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
Fol­low me on: