News Release

Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,

April 27, 2020


African Painted Dog Puppies at Brookfield Zoo to Make Their Debut during Facebook Live Chat

Brookfield, Ill. – Since Brookfield Zoo is currently closed, the seven African painted dog puppies born on January 13, will be making their debut to the public during the zoo’s “Bringing the Zoo to YouFacebook Live chat tomorrow, April 28, at 11:00 a.m. CST. The five male and two female puppies received access to their outdoor habitat for the first time this past Friday. Animal care staff observed the puppies as they played and explored their new environment as well as curiously watched their next door neighbors—the zoo’s giraffe herd.

During the live chat tomorrow, one of the animal care specialists will give an update on the puppies, explain the African painted dogs’ social structure, challenges the species faces in its native habitat, where in Africa they are found, and some of their unique characteristics. The public will also be able to write in questions that the animal care specialist will answer.

Since their birth, the puppies have been behind the scenes and bonding with their mom Ngala (pronounced EN-galla). The young painted dogs are growing fast and recently received their 12-week check-ups and inoculations administered by the veterinary staff.

When full grown the puppies will weigh between 40 and 75 pounds. Their large, rounded ears provide them with excellent hearing and help keep the dogs cool in warm climates. The puppies were born with black and white coats that changed to a distinctively patterned coat of black, tan, dark brown, and white when they were about a month old. Like a human fingerprint, no two dogs’ coats are the same, making it easier for staff to tell each one apart.

Painted dogs have disappeared from much of their former range, making them one of Africa’s most endangered predators. The species’ numbers continue to decline, primarily due to habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and transmission of infectious diseases.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit

Photo Captions—credit Jim Schulz/Chicago Zoological Society
5671, 5810, 5833, 5940, 5947, 6507, 6523, 6548, 6658 - The African painted dog puppies at Brookfield Zoo


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


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