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Pueblo Zoo staff mourning the death of an African Painted Dog

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Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 19:13:58-04

PUEBLO — Some sad news coming out of the Pueblo Zoo. Amara, one of the zoo's prized African Painted Dogs passed away on Thursday. Last year, Amara and Akilah both arrived at the facilty and they were quickly accepted into the pack. The two female dogs were sisters. During the recent breeding season, Amara got into a fight with the alpha couple and she sustained some injuries. It's common for scuffles like this to take place during the mating season.

Amara was treated and the staff kept a close eye on her while she healed. She returned to the pack and was acting normally until Thursday and that's when she was moved to advanced treatment. Unfortunately, she did not survive.

African Painted Dogs are know to have the most complex social system in the canine world. Removal of a dog from the pack means they could likely never return. Even brief gaps in time away from the pack and changes in the composition of the pack can have unexpected consequences. Being pack animals means that a solitary life for a painted dog is not a healthy one.

The species are considered critically endangered. There are fewer than 6,000 individuals in the wild and 600 breeding pairs. The zoo’s alpha pair were successful in producing a male pup last year.