SYDNEY (Reuters) – A DNA test has revealed that a stray dog found in the garden of an Australian east coast home is a rare purebred dingo, rather than an abandoned puppy as rescuers first thought.
Found in the back garden on a house in Wandiligong, 330 km (205 miles) northeast of Melbourne, capital of the state of Victoria, the animal, named Wandi, has been moved to a sanctuary for the endangered species after being identified.
“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 that runs it.
Watson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the DNA test had shown the animal to be an alpine dingo, vulnerable to extinction because of inbreeding, hunting and government eradication programs.
The Foundation plans to use the dingo puppy in its breeding program, she added.
It was not immediately clear how the dingo ended up in the garden of the home, or where it came from.
Reporting by Cordelia Hsu in Sydney; Writing by Colin Packham; Editing by Clarence Fernandez