Lisa Marie Avendano, Houston Zoo Veterinary Hospital and Animal Nutrition Manager is in Zimbabwe assisting our wildlife conservation partners at Painted Dog Conservation.
As I reported in my last update, we did not have success in our first attempt to find parasites, so today we decided to head out in the project vehicles and track dogs early in the morning so we could potentially find fresh samples.
Thanks to the expert tracking skills of PDC staff member, Jealous Mpofu, we were successful in locating the Kutanga painted dog pack. Unfortunately no fresh scat samples were to be found at that time, but it was my first sighting of a painted dog pack in the wild and I will never forget it!
And just a short while later we came across very fresh lion scat. And there in the dirt near by were tracks belonging to a lioness and cubs!
Believe or not, the day got even better, when once again we came across the Katunga pack of painted dogs and this time we retrieved a fresh sample. That day in the lab, after processing both the lion and painted dog samples, we had positive results.
The students did an excellent job identifying the parasites and they were thrilled with their accomplishment, knowing they were on their way to attaining news skills to aid painted dog conservation and research.