CINCINNATI – (September 10, 2014) The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is excited to announce that Painted Dog Valley is now home to a breeding pair of African painted dogs. When the Zoo’s new attraction opened earlier this summer, it displayed a single two-year-old female named “Imara.” After three months, the Zoo found a suitable mate for Imara. “Brahma,” an eight-year-old male, was introduced yesterday following a breeding recommendation by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) management committee. They are adjusting well to their new exhibit.
“The Zoo is excited to have a pair of these beautiful dogs, both to showcase their natural instincts and to eventually breed and create a unified pack,” said Thane Maynard, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo.
“Our hope is for Zoo visitors to leave feeling connected with Africa and feeling inspired to help save wildlife and wild places. We work hard every day to get our visitors close enough to care.”
African painted dogs known for their famously 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, making them the rarest species on the African continent.
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 is free with regular admission.