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Did You Know These Facts About the African Painted Dogs in Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is home to more than 2,000 animals across 300 species of animals. And, one of the most convenient ways to see some of the wildlife during your visit to this Disney Park is by taking a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris in Harambe Village.

This single attraction covers more ground than Magic Kingdom Park, allowing the animals to have the space for habitats that accurately mimic their natural environments while affording Guests a 20+ minute ride on one of Disney’s best attractions.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Credit: Disney

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During a ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, Guests can expect to encounter such amazing animals as giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinos, and hippos, just to name a few. Some of the less-talked-about animals on the safari are the African Painted Dogs, which are fascinating on their own and beautiful to see with their coats that appear, well, painted.

To help get you excited for your next chance to see one of our favorite animals at the Park, we’re sharing some fun facts about the African Painted Dogs, alongside new photos recently shared by Disney’s Animal, Sciences, and Environment team.

African Painted Dogs at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

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African painted dogs like the ones Guests can see on Kilimanjaro Safaris are among the most endangered species in Africa. As a result, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund has been supporting initiatives that work on increasing the dogs’ numbers in the wild since 1996.

The dogs are unique from similar species for their social behaviors and the ways they operate as a family unit. All members of the pack help take care of one another by sharing food and caring for pups, regardless of whether they are male or female and even if they are the ones who gave birth to them. And, while hunting, males and females take on both roles with both sexes spending time hunting and staying put to take care of the pack.

African Painted Dogs at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

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When you ride by the African Painted Dogs as you near the savanna portion of the attraction, be sure to notice the gorgeous coat pattern on these animals. Each African Painted Dog has its own unique coat specific to them (similar to our fingerprints.)

With the dogs remaining a highly endangered species, only about 7,000 remain in the wild. Their natural habitats are sadly threatened by fragmentation and snare entanglement, but there are ways we can all help.

Donating to Disney’s Conservation Fund (which can be done at any merchandise or quick-service restaurant in the Park in any amount) is one way to help, as is promoting educational resources to learn more about helping species in Africa. And at home, we can all work to pick up trash and debris that could cause dangerous entanglements with animals like our local dogs who share some similarities to the African Painted Dogs.

African Painted Dogs at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney

Don’t miss the African Painted Dogs during your next ride on Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris, which is described as:

Explore the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, home to 34 species living in 110 acres of picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands. Your rugged safari vehicle is driven by an expert guide, who helps point out animals and shares fascinating wildlife facts during this extraordinary 18-minute expedition.

Unique Animal Encounters
Spot a shy hippopotamus nestled in a still pond. Behold a regal lion sunbathing on a rocky perch. Drive past a gentle giraffe grazing on the tall trees or wave hello to a swinging baboon. Other amazing animals you may encounter include rhinos, cheetahs, crocodiles, elephants, hyenas and zebras—and so many more!

Since animals have minds of their own, every expedition is a unique and unforgettable experience. Be sure to keep your eyes open and have a camera ready—you never know what you’ll see on a Kilimanjaro Safaris outing.

Enjoy your next trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and have fun on Kilimanjaro Safaris!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."