Zoo welcomes back expert on African painted dogs

Greg Rasmussen wild dog specialist. African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) Mana pools National Park ZIMBABWE Greg Rasmussen spécialiste des lycaons. (Lycaon pictus) Mana Pools National Park ZIMBABWE

The public is invited to attend Dr. Rasmussen’s presentation at the El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens on Thursday, February 2 at 7pm. RSVP with your name and the number of people attending by Thursday, February 2 at Noon by sending an email to lobellorl@elpasotexas.gov or a text message to 915-217-4233.

Dr. Gregory Rasmussen, 2023 Indianapolis Prize nominee and founder and executive director of Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT), has embarked on a three-month tour of U.S. zoos and universities to promote awareness of the highly endangered painted dog, aka African wild dog, of which there are approximately 6,500 left in the wild. El Paso Zoo will host Dr. Rasmussen on Thursday, February 2 at TIME a.m./p.m. as he presents the current state of the painted dog population, pressing threats of their survival, and the tireless efforts of PDRT to save them from extinction.

Dr. Rasmussen’s tour encompasses visiting more than 30 venues, including donor-hosted fundraising events. Scientists, academics, zookeepers, supporters and the interested public are invited to attend the public presentations. The schedule of events can be found at https://www.painteddogresearch.org/events.

“With painted dogs as our flagship, we too now are adding afforestation and mitigation of climate change to our conservation armory,” said Dr. Rasmussen, who has studied painted dogs in their natural habitat for over 30 years, one of the longest studies into the species. “The biodiversity crisis is affecting every corner of the globe and every form of life, especially painted dogs,” he added. Dr. Rasmussen founded PDRT in 2014 in northwest Zimbabwe, one of the last strongholds for painted dogs, the recognizable carnivores from their individually unique tri-colored coats, fluffy white tails and oversized Mickey-Mouse ears. 

“I am delighted to return to the States without a mask, able to reconnect with friends and associates as well as add new names and faces to our widening support base for the endangered painted dogs,” said Dr. Rasmussen. “While I hope to inspire and share, I too am motivated  by those I meet.”  

About Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT): PDRT is a nonprofit conservation organization with over 1,000 direct supporters worldwide. PDRT’s mission is to secure a future for painted dogs through field-based, data-driven research; community-based education; and sound science.  Donations to PDRT are accepted through this link and are tax-deductible through a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit. Visit painteddogresearchtrust.org for more information, and follow PDRT on Facebook @painteddogresearchtrust, Instagram (painteddogrt) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/painted-dog-research-trust/).

You can learn more about Zoo conservation efforts to help critically endangered painted dogs at https://elpasozoo.home.blog/2021/06/18/why-do-we-have-african-painted-dogs/

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