A rare purebred alpine dingo with a unique black coat has been discovered by a farmer in rural Victoria.
A farmer and his son discovered Sooty, the pup, in the middle of a dirt track in Jamieson, Melbourne back in June. They mistook him as a koala, but eventually realized that it was a male dingo that was likely left alone after his mother was culled.
He was named Sooty for his unique sable black coat that reminded them of the bushfires in the country. The father and son duo eventually handed Sooty to the Australian Dingo Foundation.
Experts initially thought Sooty was part-domestic dog because of his black coat, but a genetic test revealed he was a purebred alpine dingo.
“Sooty shows no evidence of domestic dog and he is a further reminder that wild Dingoes do persist in Victoria,” said UNSW dingo genetics researcher Dr. Kylie Cairns.
Australian Dingo Foundation founder Lyn Watson added that Sooty was found a year after another alpine dingo was discovered in Australia.
“For 10 years, Victorians have been mislead to believe that Alpine Dingoes have virtually disappeared from the Victorian landscape,” Watson said. “So to have another wild Alpine Dingo cub, testing as pure, randomly found just a year after Wandi Dingo, is an absolute miracle.”
Dingoes are considered threatened in Australia. There are three types of dingoes: desert, tropical, alpine. Out of the three, alpine dingoes are the most vulnerable since they live in eastern seaboard areas.