Wandi the purebred dingo will now help protect the future of his vulnerable species
Wandi dropped from the sky and into Internet stardom.
In August, the small canine was found whimpering in the yard of a home in Wandiligong, a city in Australia’s state of Victoria, according to CNN.
Originally, the good Samaritans who found they animal thought it was a puppy who had wandered away from home, but the longer the “puppy” stayed in their yard, the more the individuals wondered if the animal was actually a pet.
The animal was taken to Alpine Animal Hospital in the nearby town of Bright, where veterinarian Rebekah Day determined the “puppy” was likely part dingo and, based on scratches on the animal’s back, that the tiny dingo was likely picked up by a bird of prey and later dropped into the yard where he was found.
“He was very laid back and happy to be picked up. Really just ever so cute, he was just a little floof,” Day told CNN of her time with animal, who has now been named Wandi.
It didn’t take long for the Australian Dingo Foundation to hear about the furry find. The nonprofit organization, dedicated to the conservation of dingos, offered to care for Wandi at their sanctuary and asked Day to send off a genetic sample from Wandi for testing.
After several weeks, the results came back and revealed that Wandi is a purebred dingo. This news was met with delight, reports CNN, since dingos are considered to be a vulnerable species. Native to Australia, dingoes have seen a population decline due to hunting, habitat loss and disputes with farmers. While some may see the animal as a nuisance, Australian Dingo Foundation stresses that this species is important to the overall ecosystem of Australia.
“They’re our apex predator, they’re our lion,” Lyn Watson, director of the Australian Dingo Foundation, told the outlet. “Their job is to keep the kangaroo population down, that was their job before the coming of the Europeans, that was their job for thousands of years.”
The foundation plans for Wandi to join the breeding program at their sanctuary when he is older. Currently, around 40 adult dingoes at the sanctuary are part of the program, helping to conserve the dingo’s dwindling numbers in the wild. To have a purebred dingo enter the program, is a rare and celebrated opportunity.
For right now, the Australian Dingo Foundation is focused on ensuring that Wandi is comfortable in his new home, makes friends with the other residents and is in good health. A GoFundMe set up to help cover Wandi’s care costs has already reached its goal, and earned the little dingo a lot of extra attention.
In response to this interest in Wandi, the Australian Dingo Foundation created an Instagram for the wild pup.
Wandi already has over 6,000 followers. The Australian Dingo Foundation hopes to use Wandi’s Instagram to put a face to dingo conservation and why it is important to save this species.