African painted dog in exhibit

African Painted Dog

Scientific Name

Lycaon pictus

Class

Mammalia

Order

Carnivora

Range

Sub-saharan Africa

Habitat

Savannas, deserts, and mountainous regions

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
African painted dog in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

More Information

Physical Description

African painted dogs have a richly patterned coat with yellow, white, brown, black, and red markings. Adults are roughly the same size as large domestic dogs, weighing up to 80 pounds and reaching three and a half feet in length. They live and hunt in packs of up to 30 members that allow them to capture much larger animals, including gazelles, impalas, and zebras. The alphas of the pack are typically the only members to breed, although parenting duties are shared by the pack.

Interesting Fact 1

African painted dogs have large round ears that help them regulate body heat and communicate with packmates over long distances.

Interesting Fact 2

Packs have a strict hierarchy formed around a dominant male and dominant female. Females compete fiercely for the dominant role.

Interesting Fact 3

Their midday greeting, where packmates gather to vocalize and thrust their muzzle into each other's face, helps reinforce their social bond.

Species Survival Plan logo

Species Survival Plan®

We cooperate with other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to manage the zoo population of this species through a Species Survival Plan®.

Learn More

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.

Learn More

Support Your Zoo

Two Chilean flamingos in exhibit

Animals Depend On People Too

When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.

ADOPT an Animal

Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

Wish List

The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy. 

Browse the Wish List

Take Action With Us

Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

Learn More