Twycross Zoo - Follow Your Heart

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Bush Dog

Japura the Bush Dog – July’s Featured Animal

Meet Japura, our dominant female Bush dog!

Japura arrived at Twycross Zoo in November 2012 from Mulhouse Zoo in France as part of an International Breeding Programme designed to boost the numbers of the Bush dog species. She was paired with one of our male Bush dogs; Waste.

Over the past 7 and a half years, Japura and Waste have bred 18 pups over 4 litters, many of which have grown up and moved on to new collections as part of this International Breeding Programme. Whilst some have moved as close as Dudley Zoo, others have moved as far as Japan and have had multiple pups within their new homes.

At Twycross Zoo, we’re one of the few zoos in the county with an on-site Veterinary Team, who play a key role in our award-winning animal welfare standards.

In November 2018, Japura ruptured her cruciate ligament in her knee (a similar injury that footballers suffer from) and so our Veterinary Team stepped in to support her recovery. She was given a full health check and was found to be in good health apart from the injury in her right knee. In the weeks leading up to her injury she gained weight due to her reduced activity and she was classed as overweight on our body condition scoring.  

Our Vets immediately started her on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories for her injury and designed a diet to help with her weight. Bush dogs like to feed as a pack and they are given a full carcass feed on a regular basis. Our animal habitats are designed to replicate conditions of the wild, so it was decided that to help Japura keep her status in the pack it was important she was still involved in the carcass feed. She continued with her normal carcass feeds but was also put onto an individual feeding plan with a reduced amount of daily dog pellet.

Prior to her reduced diet, Japura weighed 12.35kg which is classed as overweight on our body conditioning score.

She has been on the diet since November 2018 and our dedicated keepers worked with her to train her to ensure she could be weighed weekly to monitor her weight loss. It was important the weight loss was slow and steady to prevent any health issues and we’re delighted to share that now she is now a perfect body condition and weighs a healthy 7.6kg!  

Japura and our mammal team have done extremely well with sticking to the diet and she has made a full recovery from her injury.

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