Endangered African painted dogs arrive at Longleat Safari Park 

  • Watch the pack in action as they get used to their new home at Longleat.

Six African painted dogs have moved into Longleat Safari Park as numbers of the endangered species dwindle to around 7,000 in the wild.

The group of six - Ru, Kuwinda, Kenya, Rafiy, Tassili and Tan - is settling in to its new home in the African Village area of the park.

Staff at the park hope the arrivals could help with conservation and breeding programmes.

Their purpose-built home will also allow members of the public to walk right up to the enclosure. 

Jon Merrington, head of safari at Longleat, said: “With their detailed coat patterns and interesting social behaviours, African painted dogs are one of the most striking and charismatic animals in the animal kingdom.

African painted dogs are classified as an endangered species. Credit: Longleat Safari Park

“Packs are tight knit and incredible at working together as a team. This makes them one of the most effective hunters with an 80 per cent success rate, compared to 30 per cent for lions. Despite this they are an endangered species.

“By holding a bachelor group of males and working with our conservation partner TUSK, we are supporting positive outcomes for African painted dogs, both in their African home ranges and in the European breeding programme.

“They are highly social animals with a wide variety of behaviours used for communication, hunting and play. Some of our keepers have visited the dogs at their current home and it’s been great to see the personalities coming to join us.

“We’re busy working on their new home and it’s fantastic watching it all come together. They’re a playful pack and we can’t wait to welcome them here.”

African painted dogs are classified as an endangered species. There are approximately 7,000 dogs left in the wild, with only 1,400 mature adults. 

Their largest threat is habitat loss and fragmentation, particularly from the increase in human settlements and infrastructure.