They’re so cute and little.
The pups were born in early November and they’ve been nursing with Pele, the mother, behind the scenes, the zoo said in a news release.
"Every birth at the Oklahoma City Zoo is significant and we’re extremely excited to have our first litter of African painted dog puppies in our Predator Pass Habitat since opening in 2021 and the first at the Zoo since 2016." said Tyler Boyd, the Zoo’s curator of carnivores. "We are currently focused on letting mom continue to bond with the newest additions behind the scenes, along with the rest of the pack — something vital to their success."
Pele (mother), newborn pup, and one of OKC Zoo's male painted dogs (Guy). (OKC Zoo)
African painted dogs are an endangered species, according to the zoo. Their population has taken a hit over the last decade, dropping from an estimated 11,800 in 2010 to about 5,000 in 2022.
Pele. (Andrea J./OKC Zoo)
The OKC Zoo has long been contributing to the conservation of African painted dogs and is a supporter of the SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program.
OKC Zoo's African painted dogs (L-R) Guy, Remy and Pele. (Dr. Jennifer D./OKC Zoo)
The zoo has been caring for painted dogs since 1972 and currently has nine dogs.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.