Farewell to Aries, African Painted Dog

As the New Year dawned, the Houston Zoo bid a sad but fond farewell to Aries, one of our three African painted dogs.  Twelve year old Aries had lived at the Houston Zoo with pack mates Mikita, his nephew, and Blaze, his brother since their arrival from the Bronx Zoo in 2009.

African Painted Dog Aries
Farewell to Aries, the African Painted Dog

Painted dogs are incredibly social creatures, and they are known to mourn. As Aries’s health declined due to his advanced years, his nephew Mikita, the alpha male of the pack, took care of Aries by making sure that Aries received his share of the food. Mikita also slept next to Aries during this time, a behavior that is common within painted dog packs.

Aries was the most vocal member of his pack, often growling a few short “barks” at his keepers while he was eating. One of the most communicative social carnivores, vocalizing is very important in painted dog packs. The number of vocalizations they produce is thought to be second only to dolphins.

Aries - African Painted Dog
Aries, the African Painted Dog

Aries was a distinguished ambassador for his  counterparts in the wild. He represented all the African painted dogs the Houston Zoo works to save. The Zoo partners with an organization called Painted Dog Conservation, which rehabilitates sick and injured painted dogs in Zimbabwe and reintroduces them back into the wild.

Learn more about how the Houston Zoo helps African painted dogs in the wild



8 thoughts on “Farewell to Aries, African Painted Dog

  1. Such a sweet memorial to a much loved Houston Zoo resident. I love the smile on his face in his picture.

Comments are closed.

Want more?

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Status Update

Tickets for Feast with the Beasts Presented by Revention go on sale at midnight! During our pre-sale from 9/2-9/16, you can save $10 off general admission by using the code FEASTPS.

Don't miss out on this great event that features delicious food from over 60 local restaurants and enjoy a live performance by Better Than Ezra.
www.houstonzoo.org/feast/
... See MoreSee Less

6 hours ago

View on Facebook

In honor of the Chinese animal zodiac, we’re celebrating the Year of the Goat and featuring a goat in our Children's Zoo each month. This month, our keepers write about male goat, Jack, and how guests often mistake him for being pregnant.

www.houstonzoo.org/year-of-the-goat-featuring-jack/
... See MoreSee Less

12 hours ago

View on Facebook

Bryan Myers, Stephanie Hatley and 23 others like this

View previous comments

Holly StephensJack is my and my 3 year olds favorite goat. He's so sweet!

12 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Wilfredo J PenateI know that goat!

10 hours ago
Avatar

Ashli HernandezIt's okay. People sometimes mistake me for being pregnant too. We're working on it! 😉

3 hours ago
Avatar

Vicente Gonzalez

12 hours ago   ·  1
Avatar

Mary FingerI love goats! <3

10 hours ago
Avatar

Briana MonakinoWas just there a few days ago and snapped a pic of this little cutie ♡

6 hours ago
Avatar

Isaac MartinezLeann its jack!!!

10 hours ago   ·  2

1 Reply

Avatar

Christina Fezatte-ThibodauxPoor Jack. He's just a tad bit chubby. Poor guy being mistaken for being pregnant. :)

12 hours ago
Avatar

Comment on Facebook

Animals In Action

Recent Videos