Wellington Zoo sad about death of its last two African Wild Dogs

Press Release – Wellington Zoo


Wellington Zoo staff and volunteers were saddened today after making the difficult decision to euthanase the Zoo’s two remaining African Wild Dogs.

Both animals had been treated for severe arthritis and other age-related medical conditions by the veterinary team at The Nest Te Kōhanga. After trying a variety of different medications and pain relief, the difficult choice was made this week to euthanase the last two African Wild Dogs at the Zoo.

“It was a difficult and sad decision, but they were both reaching the end of their natural life spans and their health was deteriorating,” said Karen Fifield, Chief Executive.

African Wild Dogs have an average lifespan of 10 years.

“Ultimately it comes down to the animals’ quality of life, and after careful consideration it was agreed that euthanising was the most humane thing to do”.

Wellington Zoo will establish a new pack of young African Wild Dogs with four founders arriving from South Africa later in 2014.

About African Wild Dogs

African Wild Dogs are the second-most endangered carnivores in Africa. They are threatened by humans encroaching into their habitat, by catching diseases from domestic dogs, and by being shot by farmers as they search for food on farms. They live in a pack-oriented social structure, with all adults in the pack helping to raise pups.

The first African Wild Dogs came to Wellington Zoo in 1971 from Melbourne Zoo.

About Wellington Zoo

Wellington Zoo is New Zealand’s first Zoo, established in 1906, and is Wellington’s oldest conservation organisation. Home to over 500 native and exotic animals, Wellington Zoo became a charitable trust in 2003.

Wellington Zoo became the world’s first carboNZero certified zoo in May 2013.

Wellington Zoo is an accredited member of the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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