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Updated December 21st, 2023 at 16:18 IST

Golden Retriever raises pack of endangered African wild pups at Indiana zoo

In an Indiana zoo, a Golden Retriever named Kassy has taken on the role of caring for a group of endangered African wild pups in addition to her own offsprings.

Manasvi Asthana
Kassy the Golden Retriever raised a pack of African-painted pups alongside her own blonde-haired babies.
Kassy the Golden Retriever raised a pack of African-painted pups alongside her own blonde-haired babies. | Image:Unsplash
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In an Indiana zoo, a Golden Retriever named Kassy has taken on the role of caring for a group of endangered African wild dog pups in addition to her own offspring. This occurred when it became evident that their biological mother was unable to fulfill the task.

In a statement, the Potawatomi Zoo mentioned that Kassy and her puppies arrived at the Zoo the day after the painted dog puppies were born. Kassy promptly embraced the painted dog puppies, nursing and caring for them as if they were her own.

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Situated approximately 150 miles north of Indianapolis, the zoo revealed last week that eight vividly marked babies were born to mother Bleu and father Maurice on September 28. This remarkable occurrence was captured by the staff's remote cameras.

Due to human extermination, disease, and habitat loss, there are fewer than 5,000 of the incredibly rare and beautiful mosaic dogs, commonly known as African-painted dogs.

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The thrill of the uncommon birth swiftly diminished when, within a mere 12 hours, it became apparent that the zoo's trio of adults "would not be able to successfully raise the puppies."

“Bleu, an inexperienced mother, was not caring for her pups the way she should have, and Maurice was following her lead,” said the zoo.

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According to officials, not even Colby, the third African-painted dog and Bleu's sister, acknowledged the big-eared pups, as reported.

The zoo quickly sought a surrogate domestic dog to nurse the pups, following expert advice to avoid bottle-feeding and to maintain the newborns within a canine social structure.

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In a matter of hours, the animal care community introduced Kassy, along with her fresh litter of golden puppies and shared milk, giving rise to the blended family.

“Over their first four weeks of life, successfully raising the painted dog pups came with difficulties and disappointments … As is common with baby animals, some of the of the painted dog pups weren’t strong enough to survive, despite the dedicated attention Kassy and the Zoo staff gave them, but three did,” told the New York Post.

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Yet to be named, the surviving pups are currently referred to as Blue, Red and Orange.

The rapidly maturing infants are highly playful, curious and on track for a healthy life, with an average lifespan of about a decade.

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The zoo is currently constructing a new habitat for the siblings adjacent to their parents' exhibit. Unfortunately, the pups won't be introduced to their biological family soon, as Bleu, Maurice, and Colby did not exhibit "display suitable positive interest in the puppies."

However, officials stated they intend to attempt integration again in the future.

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Published December 21st, 2023 at 16:18 IST

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