Six adorable baby bush dogs have been born at Chester Zoo
The bush dog litter is the biggest group of pups born at Chester Zoo.
Six adorable bush dogs have been born at Chester Zoo, the park’s largest litter on record.
The pups, born to mum Mana and dad Franco, have made their public debuts after spending their first few weeks of life tucked away in their underground burrows.
Keepers believe the first of the sextuplets, made up of two boys and four girls, arrived on May 13.
Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at the zoo, said: “Mana is doing a wonderful job of caring for her new pups but with it being her biggest litter ever, she’s certainly got her paws full.
“We’ve seen fairly big litters of four or five pups born in the past, but never have we had a litter of six. It’s an incredibly exciting time for the keepers, as well as our pack of bush dogs which is now 16 strong.
“Once the pups are confident enough to stay out of their den for extended periods of time, they’ll each be weighed, sexed and micro-chipped.”
Bush dogs belong to the canine family, and live in small populations in central and south America.
The rare species has evolved over thousands of years to have a web of skin between their toes, which makes them excellent swimmers.
Chester Zoo said: “Sightings of bush dogs in the wild are becoming increasingly rare with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listing the species as near threatened with extinction.”