African Painted Dog

African Painted Dog

Lycaon pictus


Quick Facts
Body: 30" to 40"; Tail: 12" to 16"
40 to 88 lbs
Wild diet: Mostly medium to large antelope (wildebeests, impalas, and Thompson's gazelles) but also hares, gazelle fawns, and zebras.
Zoo Diet: Zoo canine diet, beef/bison/elk bones, whole and partial carcasses. 

Africa, south of the Sahara but in isolated populations; there are fewer than 5,000 African painted dogs left in the wild, making them one of the most endangered large mammals in the world; populations have declined because of hunting, habitat change, and the spread of distemper from domestic dogs

Habitat: Savannah, grassland, woodland, semidesert to alpine areas

The short fur of African painted dogs is a patchwork of dark brown, yellow, black, and white. Although the color pattern is different for each individual, they all have darker colors on their muzzle and a white tip on the end of their tail. Their ears are large and rounded and they have a strong musky odor. Unlike other canids, all of their teeth are sharp and shearing rather than a combination of sharp and flattened teeth. Their premolars are enlarged, allowing them to crush and consume large quantities of bone. Their slender bodies have a deep chest and long legs with front feet that have 4 toes but no dewclaw--they are the only canids without them.

Status in the Wild Conservation Programs
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