Endangered Wolf Center adds endangered dog breed from Africa

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ A pack of five African wild dogs _ an endangered breed down to a few thousand in the wild _ has a new home in suburban St. Louis.

The Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka has taken in the animals _ an adult male, an adult female and three pups. The center, whose mission is to preserve and protect wild canid species through managed breeding, reintroduction and education, is now among 30 facilities around the world that together house 97 African wild dogs for breeding and species survival.

Many conservationists, including those at the Endangered Wolf Center, are pushing a new name for the breed, African painted dogs. The goal is to dispel the myth that they are simply wild strays unworthy of protection.

The breed features big round ears and a patchy white, yellow and black pelt. Its geographical range in Africa was vastly reduced over the decades as livestock owners and others killed them. The dogs hunt relentlessly as a pack in the wild, sometimes exhausting their prey in the chase and even learning to use fences to corral animals.