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African wild dogs debut at L.A. Zoo


The L.A. Zoo last week introduced two endangered African wild dogs, the zoo's first in more than 40 years.

The pair of black, yellow, and white canines are brother and sister, and just over a year old. They most recently lived at New York's Bronx Zoo.

In their native sub-Saharan Africa, the dogs are predators that roam up to 30 miles a day hunting for food.

But they have declined in population recently because of human incursions into their habitat and from diseases such as rabies and canine distemper. Only about 5,000 exist worldwide; about 150 live in captivity in the United States.

Officials plan to breed the pair with wild dogs from other zoos. They are part of the national Species Survival Plan program, which finds suitable mates for animals facing extinction.

--Tony Barboza

Photo: Tad Motoyama/Los Angeles Zoo

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I'm researching for a novel and would appreciate any info on "hands on" interactions between humans and African Wild Dogs.


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