Love The African Painted Dog
At 5 years-old this Painted Dog has lived many wonderful years with his pack. He loves being a part of it, going on hunts and seeing little white spots popping up as they sneak along, playfighting in the grass and relaxing in the sun. But it’s starting to get harder to find enough space. The humans are everywhere, the prey is drying up, and there aren’t as many new females joining their pack. He hopes the humans stop expanding soon; surely they have enough space now!
The Painted Dog is one of the world’s most endangered mammals. It has a beautiful patchy, colourful coat, very large ears, and a big bushy tail with a little white tip, perfect for letting the pack know where you are when hunting. Each dog has unique markings making it very easy to tell them apart.
They have very strong social bonds and live in packs of between 10-40 dogs, hunting for medium-sized prey like gazelle. There are separate hierarchies for males and females and, same-sex siblings from one pack will eventually leave to join up with those of the opposite sex from another pack, forming a family of their own.
They’re intensely social spending most of their time together, and taking care of one another’s pups. Their first priority is to protect their pack; pups get first feed after a kill, ‘aunties’ act as pup-sitters for other mothers, and if a painted dog becomes ill or injured, their pack-mates rally round to care for them.
A female will give birth to a litter of 6-16 pups. Because she gives birth to such a large litter, only the dominant female can give birth otherwise it would be impossible to feed everybody. She is very protective of her pups, keeping the other members of the pack away until the babies are old enough to eat solids at around 3-4 weeks. The pups are weaned around 5 weeks where they are fed regurgitated meat by the pack. At 10 weeks they are nice and strong and the pack can move away from the den.
Some of the biggest threats to the Painted Dogs are being killed, both accidentally and on purpose, by humans, diseases such as rabies, habitat loss, and prey competition with larger animals such as lions. With humans expanding for agriculture, settlements, and roads, the dogs lose the spaces they were once able to freely roam, forcing them into dangerous conflicts with humans. They are shot or poisoned by farmers if they kill their livestock and will often be blamed for the loss of livestock even if it was a leopard or hyena. There are thought to be only 6,600 individuals left and their population is still decreasing.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.
Painted Dog Conservation Incorporated
The Painted Dog is Africa’s most persecuted carnivore, with only approximately 7000 left in the wild. We at Painted Dog Conservation Incorporated, are a non-profit organisation, established in Australia in 2003. Our mission is to provide resources and facilities to support research, threat prevention and rehabilitation of Painted Dogs and to support community education and development initiatives. In doing so, this contributes towards an increase in the population and range state of the species.
We provide funding, equipment and on ground support to our partnered frontline projects in Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa, which are actively conserving the highly endangered Painted Dog. To date we have raised over $2 million dollars to support these conservation initiatives. Any donations made over $2 within Australia are tax deductable, and we also offer Annual and Life Memberships, and Pack Adoptions of Painted Dogs from the field. To find out more, please visit our website at www.painteddogconservation.iinet.net.au