Since Binder Park Zoo is closed for a few more weeks of winter, we'll just have to settle for a video of the eleven rare African painted dog pups born on November 30, 2018.

For the most part, Zoo staff has been maintaining a hands-off approach, giving the family unit privacy and the opportunity to grow and bond without unnecessary intervention.

In the video, the pups are playing with a "Food Puzzle", a PVC pipe filled with tasty meat treats.    They sure are cute!

African painted dogs are one of the most endangered carnivores in Africa, with an estimated global population of less than 5,000 and declining due to human conflict, habitat fragmentation and widespread diseases like distemper and rabies. The African painted dog is currently listed as Endangered by both the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

African Painted pups-binder park zoo photo

The scientific name for the African painted dog is Lycaon pictus. Also known as cape hunting dogs, wild dogs or painted wolves, these spectacular animals are aptly named for their unusually marked coats of brown, black, yellow and white - unique to each individual.  Painted dogs are intelligent and highly social animals as well as successful pack hunters.

African Painted pups-binder park zoo YouTube