The painted dog yard is arguably the most attractive exhibit at the Zoo. With the beautiful trees, babbling brook, and rolling topography, it looks like a perfect place to pitch a tent and set up camp.  It’s kind of a shame it has gone to the dogs! All the more remarkable when you consider that this fine landscaping sits atop an engineering marvel. Beneath the trees and grass is a massive storage facility that captures, filters, and reuses storm water runoff. So the irrigation that keeps this exhibit green when water is needed, comes from the rain that falls on it when it is not.

painted_dog_logoPainted Dog Valley, part of our Africa exhibit, is home to a pack of African painted dogs.  African painted dogs are known for their large, round ears and beautifully “painted”, multi-colored coats.  At the turn of the 20th century there were more than 500,000 painted dogs in 39 countries. Today, there are only 3,000 dogs in Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa combined.

African Painted Dog Conservation

To continue to connect Zoo visitors with Africa, the Cincinnati Zoo, along with the Angel Fund, supports the conservation of African painted dogs and other wildlife in southern Tanzania through the Ruaha Carnivore Project (RCP).  The RCP works with local communities to ensure the survival of carnivores and people in and around Ruaha National Park. The third largest African painted dog population lives in the Ruaha region and is also home to 10% of Africa’s lions.  The RCP documents the presence and location of wildlife species through community-reported sightings and photos taken by motion-triggered cameras, or camera traps.  The project aims to gather baseline data on carnivore numbers and ecology and work with the local communities to reduce human-carnivore conflict.

Painted Dog Valley Sponsored By:

Living Building Challenge


Beauty: The Painted Dog Valley exhibit immerses visitors in the natural beauty of the African savannah.

The Cincinnati Zoo has achieved the most ambitious challenge in sustainable construction: the Living Building Challenge for the African painted dog exhibit in Africa. The Living Building Challenge is a non-profit, international building certification program that promotes the most advanced measurement of sustainability for building and construction projects. This makes Painted Dog Valley one of the Greenest Facilities in the Country!

Click here to learn more about this exciting project!