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Audubon Zoo's African Painted Dog Pups Ace First Health Check-Up

PUPDATE: Watch Their First Medical Exam!


Audubon Zoo's 10 newborn African painted dogs had their first doctor's visit on Thursday, November 10, and the pups passed with flying colors.

Audubon Zoo's 10 newborn African painted dogs had their first doctor's visit on Thursday, November 10, and the pups passed with flying colors.

The hour-long medical exam inside their habitat revealed for the first time the gender breakdown of the litter: five females and five males.

The birth of the pups - a first for Audubon Zoo - is a significant development for the highly endangered species.

Under the supervision of Audubon senior veterinarian Dr. Bob MacLean, the pups received vaccinations along with eye, ear and heart exams. The dogs were weighed and photographed from multiple angles to assist animal care staff with visual identification.

Dr. Bob MacLean, Audubon Nature Institute Senior Veterinarian
"They were fantastic. Every one looked really good. We didn't pick up any abnormalities and there was nothing we were concerned about.''
Dr. Bob MacLean, Audubon Nature Institute Senior Veterinarian

The vets also inserted transponder microchips under the skin of the neck between the shoulders of each dog - identical to the procedure used for domestic pets.

The chips can be scanned whenever the animal is in hand to determine its identity. This is especially important when a dog moves on to another zoo to join or develop packs as they would in the wild.

The pups, born on September 11 and released into their Audubon Zoo habitat on October 31, will get two more sets of vaccinations over the next two months. Now that the sex of each dog has been determined, Zoo staff will be naming them in the near future.

The newborns are the offspring of first-time parents: Sienna, 4, and Pax, 9. Only a handful of accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has bred painted dogs, one of the most endangered carnivores on the African continent.

Audubon Zoo's accomplishment is important not only for the preservation of the species but also for efforts to raise public awareness about the plight of painted dogs in the wild and to garner support for conservation.

Click here to read more about painted dog conservation

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

photo:Frank Donze
Frank Donze
Communications Specialist
Office: (504) 212-5335
Download B-roll

Click below to download video files of pup milestones.

Adopt a Pup!

Adopt an African painted dog pup and support all the animals in Audubon's care:

A symbolic animal adoption helps care for the more than 15,000 animals (including mammals, fish, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, and insects) in Audubon's care. Because of the public's generosity, Audubon's animals enjoy the highest quality care, world-class exhibits and stimulating enrichment activities. Adoptions are symbolic. All adoptable animals may have many adoptive parents and all adopt animals must remain in their Audubon homes. Adopt an Animal packages include domestic shipping only. Please call for international shipping rates.

Adopt An Animal benefits include:

  • Personalized certificate of adoption
  • Color photo and fun facts about the adopted wild child
  • Thank you letter


Download African Painted Dog Facts
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