Months after a stray dog was found in a Victorian backyard, a DNA test has revealed the little pup, apparently dropped there by an eagle, is actually a rare purebred dingo.
Residents of a Wandiligong home (330 km northeast of Melbourne) originally thought the animal, named Wandi, was an abandoned dog or even a fox but after caring for him for a day, decided to take him to Alpine Animal Hospital for a closer look.
After some tests, Wandi was moved to the Australian Dingo Foundation sanctuary where he awaited the results.
“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,” said Lyn Watson, director of the Australian Dingo Foundation.
Watson told the ABC the DNA test had shown the animal to be an alpine dingo, vulnerable to extinction because of inbreeding, hunting and government eradication programs.
It’s not been confirmed how the puppy ended up in the backyard but Veterinarian Dr Bec Day from Alpine Animal Hospital told the ABC she believed it was most probably dropped by an eagle.
“He had a mark on his back (from eagle claws) and there were no other pups nearby. The resident hadn’t heard any (dingos) calling,” she said.
“So he was just a lonely little soul sitting in a backyard.’
The Foundation plans to use the dingo puppy in its breeding program.
Cordelia Hsu contributed to this report.