Pups get health check

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Aaron Cor­lett

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.

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