The Woodland Park Zoo this week had to euthanize an 11-year-old African wild dog that suffered from an inoperable mass of the nasal sinus area.
The dog, named Bakari, lived at Woodland Park Zoo with three of his brothers since 2002, in an exhibit built as an expansion of the zoo’s African Savanna.
African wild dogs live up to 11 years old in the wild and in zoos. Only one of the brothers survives, the zoo said in a news release this morning, and will be retired to an area out of view.
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“We will move the remaining dog once modifications are made, where he will live the rest of his life and continue to receive the best care,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo.
African wild dogs are one of the most endangered predators on the planet and also are very rare in zoos, according to the news release. Fewer than 5,600 African wild dogs are thought to still exist in the wild. Once widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, their range has been reduced to just a few fragmented populations in Tanzania, extreme northeastern South Africa, across most of Botswana, parts of Zimbabwe, and areas of Namibia, Angola and Zambia. Most of these packs are restricted to national parks and protected areas, it said.
The African wild dog exhibit will become the new home for warthogs, a new species at the zoo, which will make their public appearance in May, the zoo said.