IUCN STATUS: endangered
We're currently home to 18 painted dogs at Port Lympne and we are also exploring the possibility of a potential reintroduction of the species into its home range in Africa as its population in the wild is declining.
Port Lympne Reserve is responsible for the painted dog EEP which manages the European captive population for this species, providing advice and expertise in management as well as keeping an up to date studbook on all European dogs.
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Painted dogs are Africa's most successful predators with a 90% kill rate on their hunts. The dogs are also one of Africa's most endangered carnivores with fewer than 5000 left in the wild.
This highly social species is known for their caring and rearing ability, raising up to 16 pups in each litter. A pack is led by an alpha pair, who are the only ones to breed. All pack members have a role in the raising of the offspring, bringing them food, protecting, teaching and playing with them. Painted dogs live in a variety of habitat from grassland, swamp, forest and even mountain slopes.
They are a keystone species benefiting the ecosystem by keeping herds strong by thinning out weak and sick animals. The main threats to painted dogs are diseases, such as parvovirus, rabies and canine distemper, and conflict with humans, despite actually posing zero threat to humans and having a low impact on livestock predation