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Meet the Zoo: Dingoes!

The four pups newly arrived in Prospect Park Zoo have very different personalities.

For the first time in 40 years, , and this time they’re in Brooklyn.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Prospect Park Zoo debuted its newest animals to the public last week and the response has been amazing. These wild dogs of Australia have captured the interest of New Yorkers, many of whom are visiting the zoo specifically to see the charismatic canines. 

There are two pairs of dingoes that rotate their time in the new exhibit. The four dogs were born last May/June in Australia at the Dingo Discovery Centre, a dingo breeding facility that specializes in raising genetically pure dingoes.  They were brought to the Prospect Park Zoo in November by the Centre’s director who spent time with the zoo’s animal and education staff.

Upon arrival, the hand-reared pups were already more than half their adult size and keepers were thrilled to help get them used to their new home.  The four unrelated dogs lost no time in pairing up; dingoes mate for life and this was clearly an important step for them. 

As keepers worked with the dingoes, personality traits became apparent.  Cobar is a deep copper colored male with a wary gaze (his name is an Aboriginal word for burnt earth).  He established himself right away as the alpha dog.  His mate, Daku, is a sandy color, hence her name which means sand.  Daku is outgoing and enjoys attention. 

The other pair feature similar traits but in the opposite sex.  Alkira (meaning sky) is very social and free spirited while his mate, Binda (meaning deep water) is shy and wary.  Luckily, it appears that the more outgoing individual in each pair is helping the shyer dog adjust to their new home. 

The huge crowds of Easter/Passover/spring break did not phase the dogs at all.  They are enjoying the sights and smells of spring, and visitors can watch them sniffing the air as a scent catches their interest—perhaps from the nearby or

The Australian Walkabout on the Prospect Park Zoo’s Discovery Trail has never looked better, and the new dingoes are a crowd pleaser. Come to the zoo and see for yourself.

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