Endangered 'painted puppies' make their UK debut (very cute pics)

African painted dog puppies set to melt hearts at Kent animal reserve

Endangered painted dogs make their park debut (very cute pics)

Three litters of endangered African painted dogs have made their public debut at Port Lympne Reserve near Ashford, Kent.

Keepers at the reserve said the birth of the puppies, a mix of males and females, will help ensure the species survives for future generations.

Their arrival takes the number of African painted dogs at the reserve to 43, split between five packs. Words: PA

Endangered painted dogs make their park debut (very cute pics)

Port Lympne's animal director Adrian Harland said: "We're delighted with the litters. All the pups are really strong and healthy.

"They are out and about exploring their surroundings and playing every day. They're all very curious so visitors should easily be able to see them."

Keepers and the reserve's vet team are carrying out a programme of health checks on the pups, including inoculations, weight and health checks.

Endangered painted dogs make their park debut (very cute pics)

Commonly found in southern Africa, it is estimated there are as few as 3,000 African painted dogs left in the wild.

Hunting, disease and humans encroaching on their habitat are all factors which have led to their dwindling numbers, a Port Lympne spokesman said.

Mr Harland said: "These impressive and beautiful dogs are endangered in the wild. Our breeding programmes with these unique animals will help to ensure that the species survives into the future."

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