I thought I was over my "I want a puppy" obsession. And then I saw the photo of the adorable 4-month-old dingo puppies on our front page Saturday, "Zoo's dingo puppies say hello."
So I had to look into it. Googling "dingo," here's what I found:
Although dingoes are often described as native Australian dogs, that's not entirely true. Most native Australian mammals are marsupials – that is, they carry their young in their mother's pouch, like a kangaroo.
Dingoes are members of the wolf and dog family, and they are born and nurtured in the same way as the more familiar pet dogs. Dingoes are apparently descendents of wolves or dogs brought to Australia from Southeast Asia by humans about 5,000 years ago.
Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily make them good pets.
For one thing, Australia restricts the export of dingoes. Furthermore, many American states classify dingoes as wild animals and illegal as pets. The dingoes' biggest problem is that they have been blamed by Australian sheep herders for killing livestock, and they have been hunted nearly to extinction.
It's a shame, since dingoes raised as puppies are said to be gentle. But the adults sometimes aren't. All things considered, they probably don't deserve their negative reputations.
See for yourself when the Fort Wayne's Children's Zoo opens April 24.
Learn more about dingoes at the Dog Breed Info Center.