Endangered African painted dog pup killed at Florida zoo in ‘guillotine door’ accident

An endangered African painted dog pup was accidentally killed at a Florida zoo after it was crushed by a falling metal door, officials said Monday.

The 4-month-old female died instantly when “a solid metal guillotine door” fell on the pup, Zoo Miami said in a statement. The accident occurred during a “routine transfer of the pack,” which included the pup’s parents and four siblings.

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“For an as of yet unknown reason, a cable that supported a solid metal guillotine door separated and the door then fell on the animal causing instant death,” the zoo said. The guillotine doors allow zoo staff to remotely regulate the animals’ access to holding areas and exhibit the habitat.

She was one of five puppies — four females and one male — born at the zoo in January.

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The species, also known as the African wild dog or Cape hunting dog, are native to the sub-Saharan regions of Africa, according to National Geographic. The animal’s fur features patches of red, black, brown, white and yellow. Unlike other canines, the dog has four toes on each foot instead of five and rounded ears.

Only about 6,000 of the animals remain in the wild, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

Only about 6,000 African wild dogs, also called African wild dog or Cape hunting dog, remain in the wild, according to the African Wildlife Foundation.

Only about 6,000 African wild dogs, also called African wild dog or Cape hunting dog, remain in the wild, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. (iStock)

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Zoo officials have launched an investigation to find out what caused the “equipment failure.”

“Initial indications are that the cable itself snapped,” zoo spokesman Ron Magill told the Miami Herald. “Now, we just need to find out why.”