When a resident in a rural town in the Australian state of Victoria takes a little stray pup to the vets, no one could have predicted what a DNA test would discover.
By, 6 Nov 2019
A resident in Wandiligong became concerned about a little puppy that was hiding in their garden and could be heard crying. The resident decided to take the frightened little pup to the vet to get him checked out.
But the resident began to doubt that the little animal wasn’t actually a dog and thought that perhaps it was a fox instead.
The vet decided to organise for a DNA test to determine just what the little furry creature was.
It turned out that the animal wasn’t a dog at all.
He's a dingo.
But the surprise didn’t just end there. It was discovered that the animal was actually a rare Australian alpine dingo which is an endangered species.
Australian alpine dingoes are vulnerable to extinction, according to the Australia and Pacific Science Foundation, because of hunting, inbreeding and government education programmes.
The dingo pup has been named Wandi and now lives at the Australian Dingo Foundation’s sanctuary.
Lyn Watson, director of the Australian Dingo Foundation, told ABC News that out of the three types of Australian dingoes, alpine dingoes are the only ones threatened with extinction.
She 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."
While most dingoes are actually a dog-dingo hybrid, Wandi is a 100% purebred alpine dingo. This could mean that he will one day become a key part of the sanctuary’s crucial breeding program, that currently includes 40 adult dingoes.
"Nowhere on the east coast of Australia can you find a dingo population that isn't at least fifty per cent, and in some cases, eighty per cent, domestic dog," Dr Ricky Spencer, an associate professor of zoology at the University of Western Sydney told Australian Geographic.
As Wandi was found to have claw marks on his back, Bec Day, the vet who initially treated him, thinks he may have become dinner for a bird of prey such as an eagle. But the little pup escaped after being dropped from the bird’s talons.
She said: "There were no other pups nearby. The resident hadn't heard any (other dingoes) calling. So, he was just a lonely little soul sitting in a backyard."
While Wandi may have caused much excitement among conservationists, he's also become a little Instagram star with his very own account packed with adorable photos and videos of him playing and hanging out with other dingos.