An adorable little puppy that was found whimpering in a rural Australian backyard has turned out to be a 'vulnerable' purebred dingo. Wandi was found in a family's back garden in the small town of Wandiligong in Victoria in August, and it is believed that he was dropped there by a bird of prey.
They took him to Day's Alpine Animal Hospital, where veterinary staff noticed scratches on his back. They believe they were made by a large bird of prey that snatched Wandi away from his family intending to eat him, but dropped him instead. Wandi is now in the care of the Australian Dingo Foundation, and after a genetic sample was sent to the University of New South Wales for tests, he was discovered to be a purebred dingo.
Wandi has developed a lot socially and physically over the time he’s been in the sanctuary, and he was paired with a surrogate sister who has been teaching him all about dingo manners. "We anxiously awaited Wandi's DNA results and were over the moon when we got them back," Kevin Newman, Wandi's social media manager tells Lonely Planet. "His existence proves that there are still pure, wild dingoes in Victoria who need protection. He was such a cheeky little cub when he came in and we were all drawn to him straight away."
Dingoes have had their numbers reduced by habitat destruction and hunting, and are listed as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. It is very rare for a sanctuary to take in a 100% purebred dingo puppy, so Wandi will now become an important part of a breeding program to save the vulnerable species.
"Dingoes aren’t domestic dogs as they are their own species and should be treated as such," says Kevin. "Unfortunately many in our country are set on destroying them by dropping 1080 baits and by hunting. We need to continue to protect these incredible animals, educate about their role they play in the ecosystem and fight for policy change to ensure their future."
For further information on the Australian Dingo Foundation, please see here.