African painted dog killed by pack members at Pueblo Zoo

PUEBLO, Colo. - An African painted dog was killed by other members of his pack Thursday at The Pueblo Zoo. 

According to our news partners at The Pueblo Chieftain, said the dog, named Minzi, had been at the zoo since July 2015. 

Zoo officials think African painted dogs have a complex social system which caused him to be increasingly targeted by his pack. They say removing animals from the pack would have meant he would likely not have been able to return. Even in brief gaps from the pack, African Painted Dogs can have unexpected and powerful impacts on social dynamics. 

“This rare species of dogs is known to be unpredictable at times and, even when taking every precaution, it is impossible to predict all outcomes,” stated a press release from the zoo.

In a press release, The Pueblo Zoo said a “solitary life for a painted dog is not a healthy one”, which is why they decided to follow practices based on other professionals with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the Species Survival Plan.

Following previous run-ins with his pack over the last few months, Minzi had always been able to recover, but Thursday night's attack ended deadly. 

“Zoo staff are heartbroken at the loss of Minzi. Keepers are continuing to provide the best care for the pack to ensure its long-term health locally and hope for the species globally,” said the press release.

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