While you may not have heard of endangered African wild dogs (they kind of look like hyenas, but much cuter), the Denver Zoo just brought out four puppies for public viewing!
They'd been spending the last few months in the protective care of their mother and now they're ready to prowl their enclosure.
It's Tilly's first litter! Congrats, new mom!
She was born in September of 2012 at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and came to Denver in January 2014. Her mom was born at the Denver Zoo to their original alpha pair - Daisy and Judd.
The puppies' father, Jesse, was born in January 2011 at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and came to the Denver Zoo in January 2015.
There are three adult dogs at the zoo: Tilly, Jesse and Cheza.
Guests can see the new puppies every day from 12 - 2 p.m. in the Pahali Ya Mwana yard in the Benson Predator Ridge starting February 16 (Friday) through the end of the month. After that, you can spot them in various habitats all over the Benson Predator Ridge depending on the weather.
The quartet was born back on Nov. 20, 2017. The worldwide population of these amazing creatures is estimated at just 6,600. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature puts them on the endangered list due to habitat destruction, human action (killing them) and disease.
The zoo manages the African wild dogs and has helped birth 32 puppies since 2001. The zoo also helps track the animals in Botswana to help reduce conflicts with humans and to promote coexistence.
"African wild dogs are native to the open woodlands and plains of sub-Saharan Africa," the zoo says in a press release. "Full-grown adults weigh between 40 and 80 pounds and stand 30 inches tall at the shoulder.
"Unique characteristics of these slim, long-legged dogs include distinct yellow, black, brown and white markings, large round ears that contribute to their sharp sense of hearing, and front paws that have only four toes, rather than the typical five found on other canine species."