APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Zoo is celebrating the birth of two litters of endangered Asian wild dogs.

The dogs, known as dholes (dohlz), are the first litters born at the Apple Valley zoo. Before these births, only nine litters have been recorded in the U.S.

The litters were born April 12 and April 14. Zoo officials say the exact number of pups is still unclear due to their behavior, but they estimate around four pups were born.

The pups can be seen in their exhibit on the Northern Trail.

Dholes are social pack animals that live in Thailand, Russia, China and India. The primitive canine species eats mostly small to medium-sized deer and wild boar.

The zoo says there are fewer than 2,500 dholes in the wild.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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