Dublin Zoo has announced the arrival of a new species, dholes, also known as Asiatic wild dogs, for the first time in the zoo's history.
Five male doles arrived in Dublin Zoo from Tierpark Berlin and, according to the zoo, the animals are settling into their new habitat very well.
The pack of dholes consists of a pair of six-year-old brothers, a pair of three-year-old brothers and a five-year-old half-brother.
Dholes were once widespread throughout central, south and southeast Asia, however, just scattered populations now remain in areas such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Dholes are classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list due to loss of habitat, depletion of prey and disease transfer from domestic dogs.
There is a new species making tracks at Dublin Zoo. 🐾
Keep those guesses coming in and your eyes peeled for the announcement today! pic.twitter.com/lN8YYJtySe
— Dublin Zoo (@DublinZoo) February 17, 2022
Ciaran McMahon, team leader at Dublin Zoo commented: “We are delighted to welcome dholes to Dublin Zoo.
“It’s the first time we’ve had this species at the zoo, so it’s an exciting time for all the team.
“We’re really looking forward for visitors to the zoo to see the dholes and to get the opportunity to learn more about this type of wild dog.
“It is estimated that there are between 4,500 – 10,000 dholes left in the wild with numbers declining, so having them at Dublin Zoo as part of a global effort to preserve the species, raise awareness and educate the public on the threats they face in the wild is hugely important.”
The dholes can be seen by visitors in the Asian Forests section of Dublin Zoo.