Seven African Wild Dog puppies born at Honolulu Zoo were unveiled inside of their habitat at 9:30 a.m. today while also celebrating their first birthday, city officials announced.
Among the seven puppies are four females named Pumpkin, Lilikoi, Peanut and Raisin and three males named Malachite Jr. (M.J. for short), Jasper and Kyanite. The puppies were born to mother Ivy and father Malachite, residents of the zoo.
Zookeepers gave the puppies a carcass of beef-and-cardboard prey look-alikes as a birthday treat.
Critically endangered African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus), also known as African Painted Dogs or Cape Hunting Dogs, are one of Africa’s most effective predators, according to the zoo. No more than 5,000 of the dogs remain in the wild, and 114 are currently distributed between 33 zoos as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). Honolulu Zoo is a participant of the species survival program.
The population of African Wild Dog is declining rapidly due to loss of habitat, infectious diseases from domesticated canines and conflict with humans and their pets.