ZOO AND YOU: African Painted Dogs deserve some respect

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo is home to Africa’s most accomplished predator, but they aren’t well recognized. Most people that pass by the African painted dogs often mistake them for another famous pack animal.

“We hear our guests calling our painted dogs hyenas and they are very not hyenas. They are actually not even a member of the same family,” said Animal Care Supervisor Shanna Simpson.

The African painted dog is a member of the canine family, like wolves. They are pack animals with a delicate social structure.

“They have a kill rate of about 70 percent, as opposed to a lion who only kills about 30 percent so African painted dogs are the most successful predator on the whole continent of Africa,” said Simpson.

The African painted dogs are on display in Camp Cowabunga at the Topeka Zoo.

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