African Painted Dog 'pups' thrive at Potawatomi Zoo

NOW: African Painted Dog ’pups’ thrive at Potawatomi Zoo

SOUTH BEND, ind. - Three African Painted Dog pups were born this fall at the Potawatomi Zoo and will soon be visible to the public.

These animals are endangered, which is why when zookeepers noticed these young pups weren't acclimating to their pack as they should, keepers rushed to find a suitable "mother" to help raise them.

That's where Kassy the Golden Retriever stepped in, having just gave birth to a litter of her own.

She's helping raise these dogs as her own to make sure they can make it to the next stage of their life.

Josh Sisk, Executive Director at the Potawatomi Zoo, stated, "So painted dogs have kind of a distinct smell. They have a little bit of a musty smell. So, we were a little worried about Kassy and whether she would accept these dogs as her own, especially already having Golden Retriever puppies of her own. But she had no problem. She accepted them immediately as if they were her own, even though they were a little smaller. Being Painted Dogs, they're probably a little more aggressive than the Golden Retriever pups were but she had no problem. She accepted them right away."

Zookeepers tell ABC57 the three young pups are now thriving under the care of Kassy.

The plan is to move them back in with their own pack soon where they can learn how to be regular Painted Dogs and hopefully someday grow their population.

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