At the Detroit Zoo
The arrival of females Miranda and Dolly in 2011 marked the first time the Detroit Zoo has had bush dogs in more than 45 years. Miranda is more dominant than her sister, Dolly, who is described as care free. Visitors often ask why the two always run along the same path in their habitat. The bush dog is a very gregarious species of canid and is considered a pack animal, led by a dominant member, so it is typical to follow one another. Since bush dogs are small carnivores found in dense brush, they usually map out trails in their territory by scent marking. Continued travel over those areas cuts out a path in their territory, which is tied into multiple burrows that are constructed by the bush dogs. The sisters can be seen in their habitat in the American Grasslands.
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 cubs
Lifespan: 10 years
Conservation Status: Near threatened
The bush dog has no natural predators.