Our Bush dog family has grown again!

On the 8th May the Animal Care Team found that mum Nina had given birth to her 4th litter of tiny pups as they heard their recognisable squeaks coming from the den!

During the first few weeks the cubs were not seen by the team as they stayed safely tucked away, with experienced parents, Nina and dad Nico looking after them. Since being born they have continued to grow in size and confidence and the team have recently been to health check the 3 new arrivals!

Nina and Nico have welcomed 3 other litters since their arrival at Colchester Zoo in 2017. The 3 pups have 7 older siblings here at the zoo who we are sure will step in to help their parents and show these pups the ropes!

The pups are yet to be named but it is likely the names will begin with ‘R’, following on in the alphabet with mum and dad’s names starting with N. The keepers named the pairs first litter with O – Oakely, Ozara & Octavia; their second litter with P – Pip, Pele & Pablo; and their third litter with Q – Quetzal and Qwiggly. Oakley has since moved onto another collection as part of the breeding programme but the others remain here at Colchester Zoo.

Why not get in touch with your ‘R’ name suggestions – we’re looking for both male and female names as we are uncertain of their genders at the moment.

Bush dogs are a rare and unusual canid from Central & South America. They have short legs, a short bushy tail, a rounded muzzle and ears. They are well adapted to a semi-aquatic lifestyle with webbed feet to aid swimming!

The birth of the pups is extremely important to Colchester Zoo and the breeding programme as this species is currently Classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. Threats to Bush dogs include loss of habitat for farming, loss of prey species and an increase in diseases affecting canines.

Our Bush dog family can be seen from the bridge at our Lost Madagascar Express Station and they enjoy exploring the many logs and pools within their enclosure. We are sure it won’t be long before the 3 pups will be out playing in their home – watch this space for further updates!

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