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African wild dogs make themselves at home at England's Chester Zoo

April 5, 2011 |  8:15 pm


A pack of seven African wild dogs who recently moved from a zoo in Sweden are already settling into their new habitat -- a specially designed enclosure intended to mimic the conditions in their native sub-Saharan African plains -- at the Chester Zoo in northern England.

African wild dogs -- also known as painted dogs or Cape hunting dogs -- are endangered, in part because of the spread of disease from domestic animals. The wild dogs also fall victim to farmers who kill them in an effort to protect their livestock from predators.

The Chester Zoo's African wild dog pack isn't yet on display; their exhibit is expected to open soon and includes a theater, a bridge offering an impressive view of the enclosure and public viewing windows to allow visitors to get a closer look.

See video of the Chester Zoo's Curator of Mammals, Tim Rowlands, talking about the zoo's newest residents and the troubles their species faces in the wild after the jump.

Your morning adorable: African wild dog puppies get a checkup at Illinois' Brookfield Zoo
African wild dogs debut at L.A. Zoo

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: One of the African wild dogs eats a piece of meat in its new enclosure at the Chester Zoo on April 5. Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters

Video: Chester Zoo via YouTube

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