Characteristics of African Painted Dogs

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PITTSBURGH — A two-year-old boy, visiting the zoo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his mother, was mauled Sunday by 11 African Painted dogs when he fell off the railing where he was standing.

Authorities are trying to determine if the boy died from the fall or the attack, Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said on Monday.

The dogs swarmed the boy after he fell. Zookeepers were reportedly able to secure ten of them, but police killed one dog that was especially aggressive.

Now, many are trying to learn more about these African painted dogs, as the term is trending in web searches.

The National Geographic website calls them ‘endangered’ and says they are native to sub-Saharan Africa.

The dogs average just over 2 feet to 3.5 feet and weigh between 39 and 79 pounds.

National Geographic also says: “These dogs are very social, and packs have been known to share food and to assist weak or ill members. Social interactions are common, and the dogs communicate by touch, actions, and vocalizations.”

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