Earlier this year, a puppy crash-landed in the garden of a backyard at Wandiligong, north-eastern Victoria. It’s thought that the animal was dropped there by an eagle, according to the ABC, and when the resident of the house discovered what they assumed to be a baby fox in their yard, they promptly set about getting it to the nearby Alpine Animal Hospital.
This was back in August. Now, in a development that makes this story all the more absurd, DNA testing has revealed that the pup is in fact a purebred dingo.
"He was a puppy when he was brought to us, so about eight to 10 weeks [of age]," said Veterinarian Dr Bec Day. "He had a mark on his back [from what is believed to be an eagle's claws] and there were no other pups nearby. The resident hadn't heard any [other dingos] calling. So he was just a lonely little soul sitting in a backyard.”
The hospital ran some tests on the pup—who has since been dubbed “Wandi”—in order to ascertain his breed. While waiting for the DNA results, Wandi was relocated to the Australian Dingo Foundation's sanctuary, in the foothills of the Macedon Ranges, where pure dingoes are bred. Weeks later, it was confirmed that he was in fact one of them.
"It is just incredible," said Dr Day. "The DNA testing takes a couple of weeks, so we've just had to tread water. He was introduced to the sanctuary during that time. And now that the results are back he can be used as part of their breeding program."
Wandi—who has been described as “adorable, serious puppy cuteness”—will live out the next few years at the sanctuary. His particular breed, the Alpine dingo, is the most heavily endangered of the three types throughout Australia. And it’s therefore hoped that the Wandi who fell from the sky might be instrumental in helping to save the population.
"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," said Lyn Watson, director of the Australian Dingo Foundation. "At this point he has all of the features we demand before we do breed anything."