Ten Little Painted Dog Pups Have Batman-Themed Names

Posted March 24, 2015

Holy Dog Pack, Batman! Cincinnati Zoos Got Riddler, Bruce, Alfred

CINCINNATI, OH (March 20, 2015) – Cincinnati Zoo’s African painted dog pups, born in January, have names!  The ten pups, six boys and four girls, were named by keepers and have unique markings that help staff identify them, but these distinguishing characteristics might be difficult for visitors to see when the pups are running around in their exhibit yard.  Riddler, Alfred, Bruce, etc…notice a trend?  Yes, we have a few Batman fans on staff.  (see keeper Dana Burke’s blog post for more info on the name origins)

Painted Dog Pup Key:

 Riddler –upside down white question mark;
Ivy – white splotch on right side and on right rear thigh and a very small amount of white between her shoulder blades. Ivy-blog-4-300x225
Alfred – no white on his body,  a bluish tint to his fur and two small black dots in the middle of the white on his tail (he and Oswald are hard to tell apart).Alfred-blog-4-300x190  Selina – tail has a black ring on it.Selina-blog-4-300x238
 Hugo –  white splotch on his right side (he and Ivy are hard to tell apart at first glance)Hugo-blog-4-300x183  Lucy – one white squiggly line on each side of body, lots of yellow, and a white splotch on rump. Lucy-blog-4-300x151
 Bruce – white backwards ‘C’ on right sideBruce-blog-4-300x262 Quinn – white sideways ‘7’ on left side Quinn-blog-4-300x225
Oswald – no white on his body, one small white dot on the back of each thigh/hamstring area. Oswald-blog-4-300x137
Luke – white splotch on rump similar to Lucy’s.Luke-blog-4-300x110


Visitors will be able to see the pups in their exhibit (weather permitting) starting mid April.  “With so many pups running around the yard, it’s going to be fun for visitors to try to tell them apart. Painted Dog Valley does offer very close viewing opportunities, but if only one white splotch differentiates one from another, good luck!  I’m not sure I’ll know them all by name, but the keepers do and you can too!” said Thane Maynard, Executive Director of the Cincinnati Zoo.

There are about 534 African painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, in zoos worldwide including approximately 103 painted dogs at 34 AZA institutions in the United States. 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.

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.