19 Feb 2018

The playful puppies were each given African-inspired names after zoo keepers confirmed that the new group of painted dogs comprises of three boys and four girls!

The trio of males – Bakuru, Kendi and Hasani – and quartet of females – Mosi, Nuru, Eyasi and Bahati – are the first of their kind to be born at the zoo.Their arrivals mark a significant boost to the international breeding programme which is working to try and boost numbers of the endangered species, as conservationists fear as few as 1,500 breeding dogs now remain across Africa.

Come and say hello to Bakuru, Kendi, Hasani, Mosi, Nuru, Eyasi and Bahati!

African painted dogs take their name from their irregular mottled coat, which features patches of yellow, black, brown and white fur. No two dogs have the same markings, which was quite helpful for the zoo keepers who chose the names for the four sisters and three brothers.

Dave Hall, Team Manager of carnivores at the zoo, said:

It’s fascinating to watch the pups play and the family dynamic of the pack develop. The adult dogs are very protective of the youngsters and dad, Ville, is extremely attentive to them. From the start, he took food into the den for K’mana when she was suckling the pups and he’s now doing his bit to discipline them and police how much they’re all eating.As they grow in size, they grow in confidence. The family dynamic is different every day and it’s great to see some strong bonds forming between individuals.”

Sadly, African painted dogs are one of the world’s most endangered carnivores and are facing a real struggle for survival. They are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).As well as supporting conservationists working in Africa, the zoo’s Act for Wildlife campaign is raising funds to protect painted dogs from extinction in Africa. To discover more about our work in Africa, head over to our Act for Wildlife website here.