The Kansas City Zoo hopes to breed African wild dogs, an endangered species.
Two females from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, were introduced Tuesday to Kansas City’s exhibit near the baboon enclosure.
Wild dog gestation is about 70 days, “so we could have pups in the very near future,” the zoo said in an announcement.
The dogs are very social animals that live in packs. Until last month the Kansas City Zoo had two wild dogs, a male and a female. The nonreproductive female was moved to the Rio Grande Zoo on the recommendation of the species survival plan. Two other females were sent to South Bend, Ind., in 2015.
Wild dogs are also called painted dogs because of their mottled coat. They have distinctive rounded ears.
There may be fewer than 7,000 wild dogs left in Africa, mostly in Zimbabwe, according to Painted Dog Conservation. The main threats are loss of habitat and poaching.