Pupdate #4May 10, 2019
The African wild dog is a member of the dag family, Canidae. They are related to jackals, foxes, coyotes, wolves and dingoes. While hyeneas may look similar, they are of a different family classification, Hyaenidae. African wild dogs have a number of different aliases; they are also known as painted dogs, painted wolves, and cape hunting dogs.
Males and females weigh between 40-80 pounds and stand about 30 inches at the shoulder. Their long legs and slender body is accentuated with a strong face and large, round ears. Wild dogs have a unique characteristic of having 4 toes on each paw – they do not have a dewclaw. At birth, wild dog puppies have black, brown, or white muted markings; and as they grow, the colorations become more pronounced highlighting tri-colorations, browns, tans, black and white. Each wild dog’s coat pattern is unique to them, and no two are the same.
African wild dogs communicate through scent, vocalizations and tactile behaviors. At approximately 4-6 weeks old, the puppies will begin vocalizations, known as a “whoo call”. Each dog has its own whoo call and the pack uses it to communication with each other.
The litter of six African wild dog puppies is 16 days old today.
Their eyes are beginning to open.
They are getting stronger, more coordinated, and the puppies are moving around the den.
The puppies are nursing constantly and are gaining weight every day.
The animal care and veterinary teams are continuing to monitor all of the dogs’ health and wellbeing through the den cameras.