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Dingo taken in by family because they thought it was a puppy is a rare endangered species 

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Dingo dropped in a backyard by an eagle and adopted by a woman who thought he was a dog is found to be an extremely rare alpine species

  • DNA testing revealed puppy dropped into a backyard by an eagle is endangered
  • Woman discovered him in August, with many on social media saying it was a fox
  • Testing found the animal is an Australian alpine dingo, close to extinction 

A woman who thought she found a puppy in her backyard only to be later told he was a dingo dropped there by an eagle has now learned he is from an extremely rare species.

The resident in Bright, in Victoria’s north-east, woke up one night in August to the sound of the puppy yelping in her backyard.

She brought him inside, but after pressure from friends who thought the animal looked like a dingo, she took him for testing.

Not only did the tests reveal that the animal, which she called Wandi, was a dingo – but he’s also part of a rare, endangered species.

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A dingo (pictured) which was mistakenly took in by a family who thought he was a dog when he was dropped in their backyard by an eagle is actually a rare endangered species

A dingo (pictured) which was mistakenly took in by a family who thought he was a dog when he was dropped in their backyard by an eagle is actually a rare endangered species  

Tests by the University of New South Wales confirmed that Wandi is an Australian alpine dingo – which is in danger of extinction due to inbreeding and hunting. 

The number of alpine dingoes left in the wild is not known.

Wandi could now become part of the breeding program at the Australian Dingo Foundation. 

Lyn Watson, director of the foundation, said: ‘For us he is going to be a very valuable little thing depending on his eventual development and the way he continues to get along with everybody else in the sanctuary,’ 

The family from Wandiligong, in Victoria, mistakenly thought the dingo was a dog and named it Wandi

The family from Wandiligong, in Victoria, mistakenly thought the dingo was a dog and named it Wandi 

She added that the pup’s injuries strongly suggested he had been dropped there by an eagle.

‘We believe Wandi was stolen by an eagle and dropped as he had sustained wounds on his back, and his nails were worn down suggesting he had travelled far on foot before being found,’ the foundation wrote.   

The dingo is Australia’s only native canine and is protected in national parks under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. 

There are three types of purebred dingos – inland and tropical, alpine – and the alpine species is the only one that is endangered.

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However in some areas of Queensland they are classified as a pest. 

Most dingoes in Australia are hybrids mixed with dogs, with the potential extinction of purebred dingoes being predicted since 2011. 

Wandi (pictured) was sent to the Australian Dingo Foundation's sanctuary where staff tested her DNA

Wandi (pictured) was sent to the Australian Dingo Foundation’s sanctuary where staff tested her DNA 

AUSTRALIA’S ALPINE DINGO 

The dingo is Australia’s largest mammal carnivore, and there are three types.  

Dingoes have a dog-like appearance, with a relatively broad head and erect ears. 

Dingoes tend to howl and rarely bark. They usually howl at night to ward off intruders or attract pack members. 

They are opportunistic carnivores and typically feed off other mammals such as rabbits, kangaroos, wallabies and wombats. 

Pure dingoes breed once a year, between March and June, with a gestation period of about nine weeks.   

Tropical dingoes come from the Kimberley and Plbara areas, inland dingoes live int he deserts and central parts of the country, and Wandi’s type is the alpine dingo.

The alpine dingo is the breed that is most concerning as it is believed to be highly endangered.

Alpine dingoes are found on the eastern seaboard areas, where 80 per cent of Australia’s population lives. 

The habitat of the alpine dingo is decreasing, while the persecution of the animal is also pushing the dingo close to extinction.   

Source: Australian Museum 

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