At the Detroit Zoo
Chester, a male bush dog from the Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom, arrived at the Detroit Zoo in 2014 as a potential mate for female Miranda. If breeding is successful, it would mark the first time bush dog pups have been born at the Zoo. The pair can be seen in their habitat in the American Grasslands. Visitors often ask why the bush dogs run along the same path in their habitat. Since bush dogs are small carnivores found in dense brush, they usually map out trails by scent marking. Continued travel over those areas cuts out a path in their territory, which is tied into multiple burrows constructed by the bush dogs.
The bush dog sports long, reddish-brown fur and has webbed feet that make it an ideal swimmer in tropical rivers and wetlands.
Scientific name: Speothos venaticus
Continent: South America
Habitat: Rainforest, lowland forests and open savannahs near small streams
Size: 10-12 inches
Weight: 11-18 pounds
Diet: Bush dogs are carnivores that eat large rodents, ground-nesting birds, snakes and lizards.
Reproduction: Gestation 67 days; litter of one to six pups
Lifespan: 10 years
Conservation Status: Near threatened
The bush dog has no natural predators.