Endangered African Painted Dog Dies at Miami Zoo After 'Guillotine Door' Collapses on Pup

Zoo Miami is mourning the death of one of their younger residents.

On Monday morning, a female African painted dog pup, died at the Florida zoo after an “equipment failure,” a statement from the zoo reveals.

The female pup was part of a five puppy litter born at the zoo on January 23. The statement from the zoo about the animal’s death, which the facility, posted to Facebook, says that the pup was instantly killed “following equipment failure that subsequently led to a door collapsing on the animal.”

The tragic accident occurred during a “routine transfer of the pack,” which included the female pup, her four siblings and their parents, according to the zoo.

“For an as of yet unknown reason, a cable that supported a solid metal guillotine door separated and the door then fell on the animal causing instant death,” the zoo said in their statement, adding that guillotine doors are used in many of the zoo’s holding areas to allow “the staff to regulate access between the animals in the holding areas as well as access to and from the exhibit habitat.”

The doors are operated “remotely by animal science personnel using pulleys and cables to lift and lower guillotine doors.”  

In response to this incident, the zoo says there is a “thorough investigation” underway to find out what caused the equipment failure. This investigation also includes an inspection of all “similar equipment throughout the zoo.”

According to the ICUN Red List, African painted dogs, also known as African wild dogs, are considered endangered with only an estimated 1,409 mature individuals left in the wild.


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