Special Painted Dog Enrichment

Posted September 23, 2015

signThe Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s ten painted dog pups and their mom, “Imara,” will receive special enrichment in the form of a USDA-inspected goat carcass on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 9:30 am in their public exhibit. This enrichment will be exclusive to members and Zoo Adventure Ticket holders! This will be their second public carcass feeding. Simulating a wild feeding increases the dogs’ mental and physical activity, provides nutritional benefits, and encourages natural sharing behavior unique to this species. Carcass feeding also provides guests with an opportunity to see some of the Zoo’s most active animals displaying their natural behaviors.

Other Zoos do carcass feedings, but this is a new enrichment activity for the Cincinnati Zoo’s carnivores. The carcasses, typically goats or pigs, are ordered by the Zoo’s nutritionist specifically for this purpose and have no prior affiliation to the Zoo’s animal collection. A carcass is prepared by first removing the head and innards to eliminate risk of disease, and then by freezing it overnight to kill any parasites.

“African painted dogs are carnivores just like us! Even though our meals look a little different, hamburgers and chicken tenders start out as whole animal carcasses. We are all part of the natural food web,” said Zoo Director Thane Maynard.

When carcasses are present, temporary signage near the exhibit will alert guests so they may choose whether to view it.

Images below of the carcass feeding may not be suitable for everyone.

[symple_toggle title=”Carcass Feeding Images” state=”closed”]

goat tugs - SM 1417620_10153392095705479_782137745178976127_o 11221331_10153392095645479_8150416393615169137_o
11696260_10153392095690479_3870191438335141282_o pup1 pup2