Wellington Zoo's wild dogs put down

Last updated 13:27 11/04/2014
african wild dogs
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DOG GONE: Mungo and Moyo the African wild dogs had to be put down as they reached the end of their natural life span.

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Wellington Zoo's last two African Wild Dogs have been put down due to old age.

"It was a difficult and sad decision, but they were both reaching the end of their natural life spans and their health was deteriorating," chief executive Karen Fifield said.

"Ultimately it comes down to the animals' quality of life, and after careful consideration it was agreed that euthanising was the most humane thing to do".

Both animals, called Mongo and Moyo, had recently been treated for severe arthritis and other age-related medical conditions by the veterinary team at The Nest Te Kohanga.

They were euthanised this morning.

African Wild Dogs have an average lifespan of 10 years.

Mongo was almost 10, while Moyo was 8. They were both males.

The zoo has plans to get more African Wild Dogs.

Four founders will arrive from South Africa later this year, with hopes they will establish a new pack.

The first African Wild Dogs came to Wellington Zoo in 1971 from Melbourne Zoo.

Among the best hunters in Africa, the species are endangered.

They are threatened by humans encroaching into their habitat, diseases from domestic dogs, and by being shot by farmers as they search for food on farms.

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- The Dominion Post

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