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In August of this year, an Australian woman heard animal whimpers coming from her garden. She went out to her backyard to discover a stray dog hanging around. But the woman soon learned the dog was something far more rare and special.

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The woman, who lives in Wandiligong, Victoria, decided to keep the dog when no one came to claim it. She named her new pet Wandi and took it to the vet for an examination. At Day’s Alpine Animal Hospital, Doctor Rebekah Day noticed something peculiar. The dog had scratch marks across his back.

Rebekah guessed that perhaps a bird had taken the puppy from his litter and dropped him in the woman’s yard. Rebekah then administered a DNA test to try and determine the dog’s breed. The vet was shocked to discover that Wandi was an Australian alpine dingo, a breed of pure dingo on the verge of becoming extinct.

Wandi was classified as a rare pure dingo and immediately transported to the Australian Dingo Foundation sanctuary. The dingo was brought to the sanctuary as a precaution, and the Foundation is now hopeful Wandi can become part of their breeding program.

The Foundation calls Wandi a pearl of great substance. Most wild dingoes have bred with other types of dogs, making the majority of the dingo population hybrids. Wandi’s pure dingo DNA could help protect the endangered species.

The excitement around Wandi has made the dingo a social media star. Lyn Watson, the director of the Australian Dingo Foundation, said Wandi is very tame and happy. Named “Instagram’s favorite dingo,” Wandi has over 40 thousand followers.

A professor at the University of Western Sydney said most of the Australian dingo population is up to 80 percent domestic dog. Wandi is a very valuable asset to the Foundation and the entire country of Australia.

Credits: Wandi Dingo Instagram

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