Staff at the Palm Beach Zoo have search for days in hopes of finding Lily and Carino, rare burrowing bush dogs, native to South and Central America. The pair disappeared from their flooded habitat early this week.
The cause of the flood, which filled the dogs’ habitat is still unknown. Zookeepers pumped out the habitat and excavated the burrows, but the bush dogs were not found.
Zoo staff put out the animals’ favorite foods, inspected fences, and searched for signs of a breech with no success. The bush dogs seem to have vanished without a trace.
The bush dogs are inherently shy and most likely retreated into their burrows when the flooding began. Zoo officials fear that as the flooding continued, it collapsed the burrows, overtaking the pair of rare dogs.
Sadly, the two animals are now presumed dead.
Lily was donated to the Palm Beach Zoo. She was born at the Little Rock Zoo on April 24, 2011 and intended to be a non-breeding companion to Carino.
Five-year-old Carino was born at the Palm Beach Zoo on May 26, 2012.
Bush dogs are found in Guyana, Suriname, and Peru. The carnivorous animals consume lizards and small rodents. Upon maturity, they weigh between 18 and 18 pounds and reach about 30″ in length. They have soft long hair, bushy tails, and short legs. They stand only about 12″ high.
The Palm Beach Zoo has two remaining bush dogs, Dolly and Osito, which are a breeding pair.
The investigation into the cause of the flood is ongoing.
Video courtesy of Palm Beach Zoo YouTube