Genetic testing has determined that a dingo pup delivered by an eagle to the backyard of a property at Wandiligong in north-eastern Victoria in August is of a pure alpine breed.
ABC Goulburn Murray reported on Friday that the now 4-months-old pup will eventually be used in a breeding program at the Australian Dingo Foundation sanctuary, located at the foot of the state’s Macedon Ranges.
Director of the foundation, Lyn Watson, told the ABC that the pup – named Wandi – will be “a very valuable little thing” to the sanctuary’s efforts to preserve and conserve the increasingly rare alpine breed.
“This type … unfortunately shares the eastern seaboard areas … where 80 per cent of The Australian population lives,” Ms Watson told the ABC.
“So not only is the habituate of the alpine dingo dwindling to nothing, but our persecution of this animal … has pushed this beautiful alpine dingo very close to extinction.”
The pup was discovered crying in the garden of a backyard in Wandiligong, near Bright, and is thought to have been dropped there by an eagle because of a claw mark on its back, the ABC reported.
Initially, residents thought the pup may have been a dog or a fox. It was only after taking it into the Alpine Animal Hospital the next day that the pup was identified as potentially being a dingo. The pup was introduced to the sanctuary while awaiting the results of a DNA test.
The alpine breed is one of three types of the zoological recognised species canis dingo on the Australian continent, and the one most at risk of disappearing- the other two types being the tropical dingoes of the Kimberley and Pilbara, and the desert dingoes of the central parts of Australia.