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Stray Puppy Turns Out to Be Rare Dingo

Wandiligong, Victoria, Australia —(Map)

A puppy found in a back yard in Australia has turned out to not be a dog, but a rare dingo. It is hoped that the animal will be able to help increase the numbers of dingos of its kind, which are in danger of dying out.

In August, a family in the small town of Wandiligong in Victoria, Australia heard the crying of a small puppy in their back yard. They soon found the crying animal, which they thought was either a young dog or a fox pup.

Wandi, the dingo pup who was found in an Australian back yard.
In August, a family in the small town of Wandiligong in Victoria, Australia heard the crying of a small puppy in their back yard. They soon found the crying animal, which they thought was either a young dog or a fox pup.
(Source: Australian Dingo Foundation .)

They took the animal to a veterinarian (animal doctor), who said the animal was most likely a dingo. Dingos are special wild dogs from Australia.

The vet said that the animal had marks on its back that made it seem likely that an eagle had grabbed the pup in its claws. The animal was in good shape, but was probably many miles from its family.

Wandi, the dingo pup who was found in an Australian back yard.
The family took the animal to a veterinarian (animal doctor), who said the animal was most likely a dingo – a special wild dog from Australia. The vet said that the animal might have been dropped by an eagle. It was in good shape, but was probably many miles from its family.
(Source: Australian Dingo Foundation .)

The animal was given the name “Wandi” and was moved to a home for dingos run by the Australian Dingo Foundation (ADF).

The vet took some DNA samples from the animal and sent them off to be studied. Every living thing has DNA – a special code that tells it how to grow. That DNA can also be used to identify animals and learn about their parents.

Wandi, the dingo pup who was found in an Australian back yard.
The animal was given the name “Wandi” and was moved to a home for dingos run by the Australian Dingo Foundation (ADF). The vet took some DNA samples to learn more about Wandi’s background. Above is a recent picture of Wandi at the ADF home.
(Source: Australian Dingo Foundation .)

Learning about Wandi’s parents was an important step. Though dingos once roamed over most of Australia, now there are fewer and fewer pure dingos.

One of the main reasons is that dingos can have puppies with regular dogs. As this happens, more and more of Australia’s “dingos” are actually “hybrids” – mixtures of dingos and household dogs.

New Guinea Dingo hybrid puppy. Circa 2009. Unknown mix.
These days, there are fewer and fewer pure dingos. One reason is that dingos can have puppies with regular dogs, which results in “hybrids” (mixtures of dingos and regular dogs), like the one above.
(Source: [FAL 1.3], via Wikimedia Commons.)

In some areas there are many dingos and some people see them as a threat. Often “wild dogs”, including dingos, are hunted down.

Some groups, like the ADF, are working to protect pure dingos. Australia has three kinds of dingos, but only one of them – the alpine dingo – is in danger of dying out.

Wandi, the dingo pup who was found in an Australian back yard.
When the results of Wandi’s DNA test came back, it was good news for people working to protect pure dingos. Wandi is a pure alpine dingo.
(Source: Australian Dingo Foundation .)

When the results of Wandi’s DNA test came back, it was good news for people working to protect pure dingos. Wandi is a pure alpine dingo.

When Wandi grows up, ADF hopes that he will become the father of other pure alpine dingos. Over time, the group hopes to raise the numbers of pure alpine dingos. The group also hopes to convince the government to do more to protect pure dingos.

A male dingo with pups
When Wandi grows up, ADF hopes that he will become the father of other pure alpine dingos. Over time, the group hopes to raise the numbers of pure alpine dingos. The picture shows a grown male dingo with its pups.
(Source: PartnerHund.com [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)

But for now, Wandi is getting to enjoy being a puppy. Workers say Wandi, who is now four months old, has adjusted well to his new home. He is described as being very friendly, smart, and curious.

Wandi, the dingo pup who was found in an Australian back yard.
For now, Wandi is enjoying being a puppy. Workers say Wandi, who is now four months old, has adjusted well to his new home. He is described as being very friendly, smart, and curious.
(Source: Australian Dingo Foundation .)

Wandiligong, Victoria, Australia


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