Audubon Zoo Mourns the Loss of African Painted Dog
Audubon Zoo is deeply saddened to announce that Sienna, the mother of the first African painted dogs ever born at Audubon Zoo, passed away yesterday following complications resulting from an infection.
Sienna underwent surgery on Saturday for pyometra, an infection of the uterus that occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the female's reproductive tract. During the procedure, Audubon veterinary staff discovered perforations in her uterus that caused fluids to leak into her abdomen. Veternarian staff worked to stabilize Sienna, but she unfortunately did not recover.
“It’s with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of Sienna, who was a wonderful mother to her pups here at Audubon and loved spending time with them,’’ said Audubon Zoo General Curator Joel Hamilton. “She will be sorely missed by Audubon staff and guests.’’
Sienna, who was three weeks shy of her 6th birthday, gave birth to 10 African painted Dog pups – five males and five females - in September 2016. With a survival rate of 52 percent, the fact that all 10 of Sienna’s pups survived was considered remarkable.
Six of Sienna’s offspring have since been transferred to fellow accredited facilities of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population to help bolster the species. There are less than 550 African painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, in zoos worldwide, including about 100 painted dogs at about three dozen AZA facilities in the United States.
If the public would like to share any memories or positive thoughts with the Zoo staff and volunteers during this difficult time, please leave a note in the comment section below. Thank you for your support.
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.