Dingoes at Rainforestation

dingoes

Have you met Tan and Bindi, our two Australian dingoes? Make sure you stop by their enclosure next time you’re here!

Tan (male) and Bindi (female) are found in our Koala & Wildlife Park. We thought we’d tell you some more about these beautiful creatures and their history in Australia.

History

Dingoes (canis lupus dingo) are wild dogs found only in Australia. It’s believed that they originated from semi-domesticated dogs introduced from East or South Asia approximately 4000 years ago, which were then released into the wild and became accustomed to their new lifestyle.

Dingoes can live anywhere from deserts to grasslands and on the edges of forest areas. They make dens in the wild for shelter, and these are normally found in deserted rabbit holes or hollow logs.

dingoes
Credit: Brock Williams

Food

They are considered an apex predator, feeding on rabbits, kangaroos and rats but some livestock farmers see them as a pest.

Cultural Significance

Dingoes are prominently featured in Aboriginal Australian stories and ceremonies, and have been found on rock carvings and cave paintings around Australia.

Although they are considered an apex predator, they are listed as vulnerable to extinction due to interbreeding with domestic dogs which could dilute the dingo’s natural adaptations to the Australian landscape.

Breeding

Dingoes are mammals, so they give birth to live young, and then feed them via mammary glands that produce milk.

They usually breed once a year from March to June, and can have anywhere from 4 to 6 pups in a litter.

dingoes
Credit: Brock Williams

Appearance

The coat of a dingo can vary in colour, depending on where the individual dingo lives. Generally they are a ginger colour with white feet, but some dingoes might be more of a golden yellow, while others can be a darker tan or black.

Their coat is very short, but they have a bushy tail.

They are often mistaken for dogs, however their canine teeth are much longer and their head is quite broad. Their muzzle is also longer than a domestic dog, and tapered.