A golden retriever mom for African wild dog puppies

Hot off the press from the Oklahoma City Zoo…a litter of endangered African Wild Dogs, also known as African Painted Dogs, has been born.

The birth mother, Xena, is only three years old and inexperienced.  It became clear to the keepers that the puppies needed a surrogate mother.  Enter Lilly, a special Golden Retriever with maternal skills.

Even though Lilly’s not an African wild dog, she’s still much better suited to surrogate for our pups than humans would be,” said Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino. “This is a positive for both Lilly’s offspring and the African wild dogs as they will benefit from initial socialization with a canine species.”

This is an example of yet another way to use dogs for work – helping to save an endangered species.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand


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