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"Suddenly they were there, lean, ghost like shapes in the moonlight with Mickey Mouse ears; wearing their dappled coats of black, tan and gold, like ink spots on blotting paper. Only a new day would reveal their full beauty. Only Man could hope to prevent their extinction."

An extract from Shadows in The Forest: CD McClelland

They once ranged through 39 countries - a population of 500,000 Painted Dogs that thrived through the turn of the twentieth century. Today, their numbers hover at 3,000 individuals in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

Their shrinking world has been impacted by unfounded myths leading to human persecution, and tragic injuries when their paths cross our roads. But the special qualities of the Painted Dog, with its famously large, round ears and multi-colored coat, are the endearing characteristics that can bridge the connection between the dogs and their human neighbors.

Natural History

The Painted Dog, or Lycaon Pictus, can trace its ancestry back some 40 million years. They have a unique evolutionary line and are one of the rarest species on the African Continent.

Pack Life

Painted Dogs are very social and have a rich, cooperative pack life.

Conservation Challenge

Persecution, poaching and road kills, ..all the result of human intervention...present the great challenge to the survival of Painted Dogs