African painted dogs are highly social and intelligent and they roam in packs through extensive home ranges. Their markings are distinctive and unique. They weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
African painted dogs are carnivores, preying on animals as much as twice their weight although sometimes taking smaller prey when they are hunting on their own.
Originally found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, today populations exist only in southern Africa and the southern part of East Africa, with small population pockets in central and northeast Africa.
Classified as endangered, it’s estimated there are only 5,000 adults left in the wild. There are many organizations working to save this species from extinction with efforts to educate villagers about the important role painted dogs play in maintaining the African savanna ecosystem and fitting dogs with radio collars to track movement and help anti-poaching efforts.
African painted dogs are strikingly beautiful, with blackish skin and short fur in patches of brown, yellow, red, black and white. The pattern is unique to each individual, although there is almost always white fur on the tip of the tail and dark fur on the head. Their life expectancy is 10 years.