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    DNA Test Reveals Stray Puppy is Rare Purebred Australian Dingo

    Photos: DNA Test Reveals Stray Puppy is Rare Purebred Australian Dingo

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    DNA results have revealed that a stray animal found in the Australian town of Wandiligong in the state of Victoria in August isn’t a dog or fox as first speculated, but rather a purebred dingo.

    According to the Australian Museum, the dingo is “Australia’s wild dog,” characterized by its large head and erect ears. Dingoes are believed to have lived in Australia for more than 4,000 years. They are also found in Asia and oftentimes interbreed with dogs.

    The dingo pup, which was found by local Jane Guiney, is believed to have been dropped by an eagle. "He had a mark on his back [from what is believed to be an eagle's claws] and there were no other pups nearby," veterinarian Bec Day told Australia's ABC News. "The resident hadn't heard any [other dingos] calling. So he was just a lonely little soul sitting in a backyard."

    The species is designated “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), which means that it is likely to become endangered if the farming and deforestation that are shrinking its habitat continue. 

    Australian Dingo Foundation Director Lyn Watson told AFP that the dingo, dubbed “Wandi,” will join the organization’s sanctuary, which currently holds 40 other dingoes. 

    "When we sent his DNA off we were hoping that he would be of high content, but we were pleasantly surprised to find he was as much dingo as you could get," she told AFP.

    "He's very bright, and he seems to be very friendly with all of our volunteers - of course they all dote on him," Watson added.

    There are laws in Australia that prevent dingoes from being released back into the wild. According to a Queensland government pamphlet, the dingo is considered an invasive animal under Australia’s Biosecurity Act 2014. As a result, it cannot be “moved, kept, fed, given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.” 

    The pamphlet also notes that there is some unproven evidence that the “destruction of the dingo could cause increases in other pests to the grazing industry and result in widespread degradation of environmentally sensitive areas.”

    "We know the day will come when we come to our senses and fully understand the situation in the wild and that there should be dingoes there," Watson noted.


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