Whipsnade Zoo is sad to share that African wild dogs Ginger and Einstein have died following an altercation within the pack that left them with untreatable injuries.
Seven-year-old Ginger moved to Whipsnade Zoo in 2017 with her sister Beebee, and the pair were recently joined by three new males as part of an important European breeding programme for the Endangered species, including six-year-old Einstein.
African wild dogs are naturally social animals, and a firm pack hierarchy is essential to the species. Over the past month, the five animals have been working to determine the natural order of their hierarchy within the newly formed pack, and – as happens in the wild – zookeepers have observed some fighting while the group, as they test each other’s boundaries.
During some of these altercations, Einstein and Ginger both sustained injuries, which were tended to and then closely monitored by the vet team and zookeepers.
On Thursday 2 March the team saw that Ginger’s health was declining and immediately separated her from the rest of the pack to treat her, but sadly it was determined that Ginger’s injuries were untreatable.
Einstein’s health took a turn for the worse a few days later and despite the expert care of the vet team, on Sunday 5 March Einstein went into multiple organ failure as a result of his injuries. The decision was made to euthanise both dogs, to prevent any further suffering.
The rest of the pack continue to be closely monitored by both zookeepers and vets as the dogs cement their new pack structure.