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Zoo welcomes rare painted dog pups

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Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating the arrival of rare painted dog pups.

“It’s been 30 years since painted dog pups were born at the Cincinnati Zoo, and none of the pups from that litter survived," says Zoo Director Thane Maynard. "So, if all goes well, these will be the first pups of this species to grow up here."

Zoo officials aren't certain how many pups were born. They estimate it's between seven to 10. The first pup arrived Monday morning, January 5. The last was born at 9:50 p.m.

More about painted dogs:

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. Their gestation period is approximately 68-73 days and litters typically include 6 to 12 pups, but can number up to 20. The mortality rate for African painted dog pups is 64 percent in the first year of life. 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.

http://youtu.be/Sc_8cUvRUV4

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.