Stray Puppy Found in Backyard Turns out to Be a Purebred Endangered Dingo

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It is not everyday that an eagle drops a puppy into your backyard, but  it is even rarer when that puppy turns out to be an almost extinct species that conservationists are desperately trying to save. 

When an Australian woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, heard whimpers in her backyard, she thought a puppy had gotten lost and was wandering outside her garden. Little did she know that the puppy was in fact a dingo, a Australian native wild canine species in great danger of extinction. 

After suspicion that the cub was not a normal puppy, the woman and her family brought him to the sanctuary of the Australian Dingo Foundation, which confirmed on Friday through an Instagram post that he was “100 percent pure dingo from the Victoria Highlands,” a true joy to many conservationists. 

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Meet Wandi. He is our newest addition to our DDC family and what a story he has. Wandi was found alone as a 4-5 week old cub on a private property in Victoria's eastern highlands. He was brought to DDC by WIRES, where we have taken him under our care pending DNA results for dingo purity. After weeks of anxious waiting, results from UNSW's genetics lab revealed Wandi is a 100% PURE VICTORIAN HIGHLANDS DINGO. He is living proof that the dingo is still prevailing in its purest form in Victoria. Wandi will become part of our breeding program, adding new genes to increase strength and diversity of our captive insurance population of pure dingoes we have at our sanctuary. We believe Wandi was stolen by an eagle and dropped – he had sustained wounds on his back, and his nails were worn down suggesting he had travelled far on foot before being found. You can follow Wandi @wandi_dingo to watch him grow ❤️ ⬇️Follow our other socials ⬇️ @wandi_dingo @pumbahthedingo @dingowhiskers 🐶 #dingo #dingoesofinstagram #canisdingo #savethedingo #alpinedingo #conservation #rewilding #coexistence #creatingawareness #savingspecies #protectingnature #threatenedspecies #wildlifeconservation #australiannative #australianwildlife #natureinspires #naturelovers #melbswest #dyobmelbourne #melbournenotes #visitmelbourne #meltoncitymuchmore #wandervictoria #animalencounter #puppylove #notforprofit

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The foundation, which has since named the dingo ‘Wandi’, said the cub had wounds on his back and worn out nails, indicating that he had been kidnapped from his home and subsequently dropped by an eagle before walking on foot to the place where he was found.

The director of the foundation, Lyn Watson, explained in a statement to ABC News that this type of dingo, of the so-called alpine race, are “very close to extinction,” which is why they are happy to have found Wandi when they did. 

According to their website, dingoes have faced ongoing cultural persecution from bounty hunters and fur trappers. As a result, they are under severe eradication threat, especially along Australia’s south-eastern seaboard, where agricultural and urban developments predominate.

The agency announced that Wandi will be part of its breeding program, “providing new genes to increase the strength and diversity” of the population of purebred dingoes that the sanctuary has. They have also created Wandi’s own Instagram page, so the public can watch him grow.

Alexandra Tirado Oropeza is a Venezuelan journalist covering politics, immigration, entertainment and social justice. She moved to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue a Writing degree at The University of Tampa, and after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles where she works in broadcast and as a freelance writer. She’s passionate about equality, freedom of speech, art and dogs.