Pups get health check
ELEVEN endangered African painted dog puppies were given their first hands-on health check following their birth in April at Perth Zoo.
Just like domestic dogs, the puppies were medically assessed, weighed, vaccinated and their sex determined by two teams of veterinarians, who worked efficiently to reunite them with their protective parents quickly.
Senior zookeeper Becky Thomasson said since the dogs’ birth, they had taken a hands-off approach to allow the pack to develop as they would naturally in the wild, but it was important to give each of the new arrivals a veterinary examination.
“It gives us a chance to thoroughly check their body condition and also verify how many new little boys and girls we have,” she said.
“We’re delighted to announce that we have seven feisty females and four males.
“Importantly they were all in excellent shape, with one tipping the scales over 6kg, a very healthy weight for a 12-weekold African painted dog pup.”
The eleven puppies were the result of matchmaking a Perth Zoo-born adult female with a male bought to WA from Altina Wildlife Park in NSW, introducing a new bloodline into the regional breeding program.
When older, it is likely some of the pups will move to other zoos throughout Australia to share their genetics and partake in the regional breeding program to continue the survival of the species.
Perth Zoo is committed to protecting African painted dogs in the wild by supporting Painted Dog Conservation Inc. Picture Alex Cearns
One of the African painted dogs gets a health check.