A puppy that was found abandoned in a rural Australian backyard was discovered to be a purebred dingo, a vulnerable native species in Australia.
Wandi, the small dingo puppy, was found abandoned in the small town of Wandiligong in Victoria in August. The family that originally found Wandi, was out on a walk when they heard the whimpering of the dog. They thought the puppy was lost and left it alone, however, after no one claimed the puppy, they realized it was not a normal puppy.
The puppy was taken to a vet in the nearby town. The veterinarian Rebekah Day, noticed scratches on the back of the dog which suggested it had been snatched by a large bird as its prey.
Lyn Watson, director of the Australian Dingo Foundation heard of the dog and got in touch with Day. The foundation agreed to take care of Wandi and asked Day to send a genetic sample to the University of New South Wales for tests, CNN reported.
The results took six to eight weeks to come. In that period Wandi was given a companion to socialize and introduced to the other dingoes of his age. The results revealed that Wandi was 100% purebred, much to the joy of Watson and her team as it was rare for a sanctuary to get a purebred dingo.
Watson said that Wandi would be an important part of their breeding program, which consisted of about 40 adults from the vulnerable species.
“They’re our apex predator, they’re our lion,” Watson said. “Their job is to keep the kangaroo population down, that was their job before the coming of the Europeans, that was their job for thousands of years.”
Dingoes are natives to America, but they are currently declared vulnerable because of their dwindling population due to loss of habitat and hunting.
Watson hoped Wandi would help better understand the dingo breed and the important role that animals play in the ecosystem.
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