News Update

Wild dogs escape from animal park
Submitted 11/02/2009 10:50:00

People are advised not to approach the animals but report any sighting

Zookeepers are searching the countryside around a zoo in Kent for three wild dogs that have escaped.

Keepers at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, discovered a pack of 10 dholes was missing at 0930 GMT.

The park has not opened to the public while the search is being carried out. All but three have been recaptured.

The animals, which are also known as Asiatic wild dogs, have a rusty red coat. Adults are about 1m (3.2ft) tall and weigh up to 17kg (2.6st).

In the wild, dholes live in dense forest and thick scrub jungle and feed on deer, wild pigs, mountain sheep, guar and antelope.

Report sightings

A spokeswoman for Kent Police said a search was being carried out in the surrounding countryside and armed officers were on stand-by, but added the animals did not pose a significant risk to the public.

People are advised not to approach the animals but report any sighting.

A spokeswoman for the park, which, combined with its sister zoo, Port Lympne, near Ashford, is home to 1,000 animals and 90 different species, said the dholes were bred in captivity.

"If anything, they'll be wanting to find their way back," she said.

The park was set up by the late John Aspinall to help protect and breed rare and endangered species and return them to safe areas in their native homeland.

Related Links:
Howletts Wild Animal Park
Dhole facts

Source: BBC News

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