A puppy snatched by an eagle and dropped into the backyard of house, whose remarkable survival story captured the imagination of Australians, has turned out to be a rare alpine dingo.
Residents at a home in Australia heard crying coming from their backyard. When they went to see what it was, they found a little lost pup there alone and assumed it was a baby fox or a dog.
After caring for the little guy for about a day they decided to take him into the vet to treat his injuries.
The animal hospital determined that the little one was actually a dingo, which is a wild dog of Australia often considered a subspecies of the domestic dog.
Residents told Australian media that they didn’t hear other dingoes calling, so the pup was determined to be alone, and lost from its mother. It was weeks later, when the results came back, that “Wandi” was discovered to be a pure Victorian HIghlands dingo, which is also known as an alpine dingo. This species is being pushed close to extinction in Australia. The Australian Dingo Foundation told ABC Australia that there are three types of dingos in Australia. These are tropical dingos, inland dingos and alpine dingos.
The alpine dingo is endangered — which makes the discovery of “Wandi” so remarkable.
The ADF’s mission is to protect dingos and educate the public about this wild dog that has gotten a bad rap.
A study in the Journal of Conservation Genetics found that there is a belief in parts of Australia that dingoes are extinct. Researchers found that there are wild dogs being killed as part of pest control measures, but DNA testing shows many of these dog-like animals are actually dingoes.
To be specific, researchers found that about one in four of the animals tested were found to be pure dingoes, and most were genetically more than three-quarters dingo.
Only 5 of the 783 animals tested in the study were found to be feral domestic dogs with no dingo ancestry.
There is a case to be made for bringing back dingo populations to Australia. Conservationists have found that dingoes actually benefit farmers as they have been found to reduce native herbivores such as feral goats, rabbits, pigs and kangaroos which can boost pasture growth for livestock to graze on.
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