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A banquet fit for a trio of kings

3 May 2019

Melbourne Zoo’s trio of African Wild Dog brothers have celebrated their birthday in style, being treated to a feast of enrichment for their seventh birthdays this week.

Siblings, Samawhati, Duara and Maana were gifted layered ice block cakes, along with three large steaks to mark the special occasion.

The trio quickly sniffed out the treats in their exhibit, making sure each got their even share.

Carnivore keeper Zoe Rowell described the Wild Dog brothers as a tight-knit trio that always looked out for one another.

“The boys love their food time,” Ms Rowell said. “But they always make sure that they each get an even share and never one more than the other.”

“They also love exploring their exhibit together, and are always happy to snuggle up together at night, sleeping in the same box with one another.”

As well as helping to celebrate important milestones, the enrichment plays an important role in animal care and enhances the quality of animal welfare through environmental stimuli to trigger sensory and motor stimulation.

While their birthday is a cause for celebration, Samawhati, Duara and Maana also play an important role as ambassadors for their wild cousins.

African Wild Dogs are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Their numbers are in a state of decline, with fewer than 1500 remaining in the world.  

The species faces a variety of threats in the wild including habitat destruction, poaching, and disease.

You can help conserve the African Wild Dog population by purchasing Beads for Wildlife products from Melbourne Zoo.

Visitors can visit Samawhati, Duara and Maana up close at Melbourne Zoo 9am-5pm, seven days a week.