When a housewife in Wandiligong, a small town in Victoria, Australia, heard crying, she went outside and discovered a stray puppy.
They took him to Alpine Animal Hospital in a neighbouring town, where the dog was really relaxed and delighted to be noticed.
The dog’s back had what seemed to be claw wounds, and the doctor speculated that a bird may have dropped him into the owner’s property.
The University of New South Wales conducted testing on a DNA sample that the hospital had supplied, and it was discovered that this stray “puppy” is actually not a puppy at all!
This pup turned out to be a purebred Alpine Dingo, a species that is presently in risk of going extinct.
The dingo pup, now known as Wandi, was sent to the Australian Dingo Foundation’s sanctuary, where he and the other 40 adult dingoes there may someday join their breeding program. The dingo species’ preservation is the aim of the breeding effort.
The foundation’s director, Lyn Watson, expresses the hope that Wandi will serve as Australia’s “flagship” in advancing understanding of dingoes and how important their presence is in the dingoes’ ecology.
According to Watson, “We’re merely maintaining the genetic lines until the day that there will be a safe area where they may be rewilded.”
Dingoes are endemic to Australia, but habitat damage and poaching have led to a decline in their number. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources presently classifies them as “vulnerable.”