Zoo welcomes two male African painted dogs as part of Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this endangered species.
Guests visiting the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Predator Pass habitat will have an opportunity to see the Zoo’s newest animal family members two male African painted dogs. The painted dogs, Guy and Remy, both almost four-years-old, recently arrived at the OKC Zoo from ZooTampa at Lowry Park in Tampa, Florida as part of a breeding recommendation for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for African Painted Dogs. Guy and Remy were matched with the Zoo’s female painted dogs, River and Pele, both 3, and are residing at Predator Pass. The OKC Zoo participates in this SSP for African painted dogs and other species as part of a collaborative effort that aims to maintain sustainable populations within AZA accredited zoos and aquariums.
With the arrival of Guy and Remy, the OKC Zoo will be home to two African painted dog packs. Predator Pass will be home to one pack while a separate pack consisting of five individuals: Xena, 10, Dojo, 9, Tex, 4, Back Slash, 4, and Spot, 4, are currently inhabiting Lion Overlook on a rotational basis with the Zoo’s pride of African lions while construction on Expedition Africa, the Zoo’s 12-acre habitat transformation project, continues through summer 2023.
“Our teams and fans have a special connection to African painted dogs so it’s exciting to see this younger pack grow,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s curator of carnivores. “OKC Zoo has been caring for painted dogs for the last fifty years and we are committed to protecting the future of this predator species through a successful breeding program. We look forward to this pack having its own pups in the future and welcoming a new generation of painted dogs.”
Deemed endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), African painted dogs, of which there are approximately 5,000 left in the wild, face threats such as habitat loss, increased conflict with humans and diseases such as rabies contracted from domestic dogs. These iconic African animals are a highly intelligent and social species with packs ranging from two to thirty individuals. As a long-term home to painted dogs, the OKC Zoo partnered with the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) in 2017 to provide direct funding and capacity building. Since 2017, the Zoo has contributed over $58,000 to PDRT’s conservation initiatives and sent six team members to Zimbabwe, Africa, to assist with conservation projects in the field.
Currently the OKC Zoo and Oklahoma Zoological Society (OZS)/ZOOfriends are partnering with PDRT to raise awareness and funds for a critical tool to help save painted dogs and other wildlife – a wildlife tracking app. This app would allow users to report any wildlife they see, alive or dead, on main roadways throughout Zimbabwe and other African countries, providing essential data needed to monitor road traffic mortality. OKC Zoo has contributed $5,000 to this project through its Round Up for Conservation Funds. Wildlife fans can donate by texting PDRT to 41444 or donate online at zoofriends.org/pdrt. To learn more about this project and PDRT, watch this video or visit www.painteddogresearch.org.
Spot the OKC Zoo’s new African painted dogs at Predator Pass. The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Connect to wildlife and tons of fun as you experience the all new BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by Devon, BRICKLIVE features 45+ life-sized animal statues made with almost two million toy bricks! BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. now through October 30, 2022. Purchase advance tickets for general Zoo admission and BRICKLIVE at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.