If you ask an Australian about Oceania’s largest predator, the dingo, he won’t have good things to say about it. Dingoes have a bad reputation in their own country, especially among farmers. However, they have an incredibly rich and interesting history.
A long story
Although their heritage is still debated, it is generally accepted that they arrived with humans from Southeast Asia about 3500 years ago and became barbarians a few centuries later. The dingo is a recurring figure in many Aboriginal stories and rock paintings, where it is considered a spiritual guardian.
Dingoes are well suited to their habitat with their short, sandy-colored hair and long limbs. They have no natural enemies and sit at the top of the food chain. But their tendency to prey on livestock has made them scapegoats for many disgruntled farmers, creating a strained relationship between dingoes and humans. They are currently classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN because the population of “pure” dingoes is declining due to interbreeding with domestic dogs. While general attitudes toward them are softening and efforts are being made to protect this unique canine, Australia’s only native wild dog still faces many challenges.
How to recognize it?
Pure dingoes have white tips and tails. Its coat is usually deep golden brown with a white chest. However, it can sometimes be light golden, brown, or black in color. Its muzzle is very long and powerful. It is equipped with long canines. Finally, his ears, very large, are set high on the head.
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