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Canis lupus dingo

Class: Mammalia
Lifespan: Up to 13 years        
Diet: Carnivore       
Weight: Up to 24kg
Height: Up to 63cm
Speed: Up to 30km/h                            
Reproduction: Live birth
Status: Not listed

The dingo is a medium-sized dog weighing between 13-24kg. Males are usually heavier than females. An average male stands between 52-63cm tall.
Their coat is short and thick. The colour of their coat depends on their environment and can be sandy, ginger, red, black or white. It is also common for dingoes to have white markings on their feet, tail and chest.

A dingo’s forehead is flatter and their jaw line more square than domestic dogs or dingo hybrids.They also have larger carnassial and canine teeth, much like wolves. Another major difference between dingoes and their domestic relatives is vocalisations; dingoes growl, whine and howl but do not bark.

The dingo is an opportunistic predator, feeding upon other mammals such as kangaroos, wallabies, rabbits, rodents, sheep and cattle. Birds, lizards, fish and even human rubbish contribute to their diet. Dingoes are the largest carnivorous mammal in Australia and play a vital role in maintaining the balance in ecosystems by controlling a number of predator and prey species, including rabbits, foxes, and feral cats.

Although often seen alone, dingoes are social animals and usually belong to a pack. Packs are ordered by strict hierarchies and work together to defend territory, hunt, and raise pups. The dominant pair may be the only successful breeders, with litters of one to ten pups born after a gestation period of approximately 63 days.

Dingoes are considered a native dog of Australia, however, it is not truly a native species. Fossil and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that the dingo arrived in Australia about 3500-4000 years ago with Asian settlers on boats.

Dingoes can be found throughout most of mainland Australia (except Tasmania) in alpine, desert, woodland, grassland and tropical regions.

Our dingoes enjoy daily walks for exercise and enrichment. If you can’t see them in their exhibit, keep an eye out for them walking around the sanctuary with their keepers.