Experts in conservation of African wild dogs flew into to DZG to share their knowledge of the endangered species with our staff.
Managing Director of Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe, Peter Blinston (pictured above left), and Ron van der A, Chairman of Stichting Painted Dog Conservation in Holland (pictured above right), gave a talk to Keepers and Curators. (They are pictured at our wild dogs enclosure with Curator Richard Brown, back centre, and Ungulates Section Leader Jay Haywood, bottom centre.)
The pair were in the UK to raise awareness of the plight of African wild dogs, or painted dogs, with several zoos and wildlife parks.
During their time with us, they visited our group of hunting dogs and gave a presentation to DZG staff in the Go Wild! Theatre.
Mr Blinston said: “We enjoy working with zoos and talking about the work we do with painted dogs and how we strive to create an environment where the dogs can thrive.
“It’s a chance to marry the in-situ conservation work we do in Zimbabwe and the ex-situ conservation work DZG does in raising awareness about the endangered species.”
DZG Curator Richard Brown said: “It was a fabulous opportunity for our staff to learn more about the strategies used to save dogs in the wild.
“Peter and Ron’s visit was very interesting and informative and we hope to develop a strong partnership with them and support the work they do in the future.”
At DZG ?we use enrichment, like the cardboard zebras filled with meat treats, shown left, to encourage the dogs’ tracking and hunting skills
Threats: Populations are in serious decline due to persecution as a perceived threat to livestock, habitat fragmentation and destruction, and diseases including rabies and distemper.
There were once approximately 500,000 wild dogs in Africa however this number has now fallen to an estimated population as low as 3,000.
DID YOU KNOW . . .
No two wild dogs have the same markings, making it easy to identify individuals