Image: © Tulsa Zoo

Tulsa Zoo Announce Passing of Last African Wild Dog


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


July 28, 2023 7:59 am


Tulsa, Oklahoma, The United States

Tulsa Zoo have announced the passing of their last African wild dog, Kasama. Vets made the difficult decision to euthanize Kasama following a decline in her health. At 11 years old she was considered geriatric and was the second oldest of her species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums care.

Kasama was diagnosed with kidney disease and Degenerative Myelopathy, which causes muscle atrophy in the rear and rear limb weakness. Animal care teams at the Tulsa Zoo had monitored her quality of life as this progressed looking for a decrease in mobility.

In 2012 Kasama and her sisters, Shiyane and Nyika became the first African wild dogs to live at Tulsa Zoo. They were born at the Sedgwick County Zoo on Nov. 23, 2011. The African wild dog habitat opened at Tulsa Zoo in 2013. With the sisters passing away Tulsa will now be without African wild dogs until the William S. Smith African Wilds complex is complete. This is expected to occur in 2026.

Keepers remembered Kasama for her love of jogging the fence line alongside them and participating in training sessions. When asked about Kasama they said, “We will miss seeing her large ears moving around as she was being called inside, but know that we were lucky to have the opportunity to work with Kasama during her time at the Tulsa Zoo.”

They also recalled her younger years when she had a tight bond with her sisters. They would regularly be seen laying down together in their habitat. She also enjoyed  tearing through boxes and paper bags to find her bone or meatballs and carrying her frozen treats around the yard before finding the perfect spot to enjoy them.

African wild dogs represent the last member of an ancient canine lineage. The species is considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature with populations in decline due to human-wildlife conflict, disease transmission and habitat fragmentation.

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African Wild Dog

More on the African Wild Dog!

You may known them as the African wild dog, painted dog or Cape hunting dog. We have facts on all of them in our fact file.

Our Favourite African Wild Dog Fact!

African wild dogs are highly social animals and live in packs of about 5-20 dogs. The adult dogs will let the young dogs eat first if they are on a hunt. There is typically little aggression between the dogs in the pack.

Image: © Tulsa Zoo

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