Alias: The Protector
Age: 11 years
Aries is one of three African Painted Dogs that resides at the Houston Zoo. He is brother to Blaze and uncle to Mikita. Aries can most often be seen napping next to one of his pack-mates or patrolling the exhibit, protecting them from those pesky bunnies. Though he seems to take on the protector role, Aries is the last of the pack to approach new things. He will often wait until Blaze and Mikita begin to argue over a particular toy or food item, sneak up while they are busy with each other, and then grab the item in question to play with or consume at his leisure out of their line of vision.
The best way to tell Aries from his pack-mates is to look for a golden coat and short tail. He is the most vocal of the dogs and will often growl a few short “barks” at his keepers while he is eating. Vocalizations are very important in Painted Dog packs as they are one of the most communicative social carnivores. Their sheer number of vocalizations is thought to be second only to dolphins.
What is the Houston Zoo doing to save the African painted dogs from extinction?
The Houston Zoo loves its African painted dogs and is involved with efforts to protect them in the wild. We help an organization called Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) in Zimbabwe, Africa, improve thier painted dog rehabilitation program by offering training to thier local staff. They rehabilitate sick and injured wild African painted dogs and reintroduce them back into the wild. We have also assisted with thier education, communications, research and community developement programs in the past.
Help us save African painted dogs from extinction!
Please join us August 3-4, 2013 for a special event called, Dog Days of Summer, a celebration of everything painted dog! There will be Meet The Keeper talks, enrichment demonstrations, kid’s crafts, and the opportunity to aid Aries’ wild counterparts. All funds raised will go to saving the painted dogs in the wild! You can also click here to donate now to protect this beautiful animal in Africa!