Lost puppy turns out to be a rare purebred dingo

Goofy Wandi puppy has fun at Australian Dingo Foundation headquarters near Melbourne

He is furry, playful and has puppy eyes. It’s no wonder Wandi was mistaken for a dog when he was found in an Australian backyard, but DNA testing has confirmed he is a 100% rare dingo.

The puppy was discovered whining and alone in a country town in Victoria in August with claw marks on his back, suggesting he may have been abandoned by a large bird of prey.

Rescuers initially thought Wandi was either a dog or a fox, but months later DNA samples revealed he was in fact a purebred dingo.

Most of the creatures seen in the wild are usually dingo-dog hybrids to some degree.

Australian Dingo Foundation director Lyn Watson said when Wandi “fell from the sky” it was an “answer to a prayer” – he can now join 40 other dingoes in a breeding program at the sanctuary from the Association.

“When we sent his DNA we hoped he would be very happy, but we were pleasantly surprised to find he was as bonkers as possible,” she told AFP.

Watson is hopeful that Wandi, whose unusual origins story and endearing appearance have captured the world’s attention, will help reshape the narrative surrounding dingoes and change government policies toward the much-maligned animal.

There is currently a lot of debate in the scientific community about the classification of dingoes, which would have come from Asia to Australia about 4,000 years ago.

Wandi was found whining in a rural backyard with heel marks on his back, suggesting he may have been abandoned by

Wandi was found whining in a rural backyard with claw marks on his back, suggesting he may have been abandoned by a bird of prey.

While some consider the dingo to be a wild dog, many researchers now believe it to be a distinct species with a range of characteristics that differentiate it from domestic and wild dogs.

Often viewed as a threat to pets and livestock, some also argue that the apex predator is useful in controlling pests such as wild cats and foxes, as well as many native herbivores such as kangaroos.

This uncertainty has major consequences for the conservation of dingoes.

Australian Dingo Foundation manager shows Wandi, a rare 100 percent purebred dingo

Australian Dingo Foundation manager shows Wandi, a rare 100 percent purebred dingo

The species is protected in areas where it is considered endangered and vulnerable to extinction, but elsewhere it is listed as a pest that can be controlled by measures such as shooting and baiting.

Although rare, there have also been a number of attacks on humans, primarily in the popular tourist destination of Fraser Island.

Wandi, who was named after the town of Wandiligong where he was rescued, is now moving into his new home at Dingo Discovery Sanctuary near Melbourne.

The discovery after DNA testing that Wandi is a purebred dingo has given experts new hope for the maligned species.  Mo

The discovery after DNA testing that Wandi is a purebred dingo has given experts new hope for the maligned species. Most dingoes in the wild are dingo-dog hybrids

“He’s very smart and he seems to be very friendly to all of our volunteers – of course they all love him,” Watson said.

But with legal restrictions on releasing dingoes into the wild, the puppy may have to live out its days in captivity, though Watson is optimistic that attitudes will eventually change to allow it to roam freely.

“We know that a day will come when we will come to our senses and fully understand the situation in nature and that there should be dingoes out there,” she said.


This is not a “wild dog” management, we only kill dingoes


© 2019 AFP

Quote: Lost puppy turns out to be a rare purebred dingo (November 6, 2019, retrieved October 13, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2019-11-lost-pup-rare-purebred-dingo.html

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Jeanetta J. Stewart

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