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AFRICAN PAINTED DOG

African Painted DogLycaon pictus

Conservation Status: Endangered

statusbar_endangered copy

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Carnivora

FAMILY

Canidae

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General Characteristics:

Color: 

Spotted coat; irregular yellow, black, and white markings; dark muzzle, white tail tip

Size:

27.6” at shoulder

Weight:

39.7 – 79.4 lbs

Average Lifespan: 

10 years

Captive Lifespan:

Up to 17 years

Distribution:

Eastern Africa, Sahel  

Habitat:

Savanna, lightly wooded country

Reproduction:

Mating: 

January to May, a dominant breeding pair amongst the pack are usually the only ones to mate.

Gestation/Incubation:

60-80 days 

Litter/Clutch Size:

Varies, average is 8 but can range from 2-20 pups 

Mature: 

12–18 mos

Diet:

Small to medium sized antelopes; Thomson gazelles; young wildebeests; impala; hare; zebra

Behavior:

Socialable and form packs of up to 40 member, although the average pack size is between 7 and 15. Packs are led by a dominant male and female pair.

Teaching Facts:

1. Hunt mainly in the mornings and evenings 

2. All members of the pack help raise young. They regurgitate food and relinquish kills when pups are able to follow the pack. 

3. The scientific name Lycaon pictus, means “painted or ornate wolf  

Meet Our African Painted Dogs:

African painted dogs are the most endangered carnivore in Africa. Binder Park Zoo is home to a pack consisting of one female and two males.  African painted dogs have a firm pack structure, with an alpha female leading the Pack. Our female, Ghost, is the dominant member of our pack. Her preferred male is Alpha male, Verizon, with his brother Black Tail falling in as the beta male. They are often seen laying in a “dog pile” together on exhibit. On hot summer days, they enjoy wading in their pool. Ghost came to us from The Houston Zoo as a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan to breed with our males. You might see her digging on exhibit as she attempts to den. Keeper staff will occasionally “carcass feed” our carnivores to encourage natural feeding behaviors to help maintain natural pack structure.