Palm Desert

Endangered African Wild Dog Pups ‘Thriving' in Palm Desert

All 11 tykes just had their one-month-old well-baby exams at The Living Desert animal park.

The Living Desert

What to Know

  • The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert
  • Eleven month-old pups in all; they'll soon join their family's habitat
  • The litter has seven males and four females

A caboodle of canines is quite a sweet sight, no matter how big or fluffy or tail-waggy the pooches might be.

But when there are 11 pups, and they're all pretty wee, as in just a month old, and they've been deemed to be endangered? The tugging of the heartstrings grows even more intense.

Those 11 pups, all African wild dogs, which are indeed listed as endangered, happen to call The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert home.

And on Feb. 18, the seven males and four females all had their well-baby exams, with good news across the adorable board: They're "healthy and thriving" according to the animal park's veterinarians.

Beatrix and Kiraka, the pups' mother and father, had a litter of six pups in the spring of 2019, and soon the new pupful pack of eleven will join their older siblings.

As for the sweet specifics? All of their eyes are now open, and each pup weighs somewhere between 4.1 and 5 pounds.


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Visitors to The Living Desert can view the wee ones in the dogs' habitat "(v)ery soon" is the word. For now, the pups are spending time with mom Beatrix in private space.

"The veterinary and animal care teams have maintained a hands-off approach to ensure the critical bonding and development happen as naturally as possible," says a representative.

"African wild dog populations number fewer than 5,000 individuals," and their International Union for the Conservation of Nature designation is "endangered." The Living Desert is working with various conservation groups to continue to "bolster" African wild dog populations.

As for the names of The Living Desert's tiny tykes? Those are still to come.

But soon, fans of the beautiful animals will be able to view 19 dogs in all in the habitat, a pack that includes the parents, the six-pup litter from 2019, and the 11 babies that were born on Jan. 18, 2020.

Want to follow "pupdates" to come? This page is the place to trot by.

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