Join our zoo community

Dingo dilemma

Discussion in 'United States' started by pachyderm pro, 17 Nov 2016.

  1. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    969
    Location:
    The City of Big Shoulders
    Why is it that there is only one US zoo (fort wayne) to hold dingo's? Are they kept away from the states by Australia? I would like a explanation on what's going on.
     
  2. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    3,095
    Location:
    Phoenix
    I'm not sure what you mean? Prospect Park Zoo, Toledo Zoo, Brevard Zoo, and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo all have dingos. There is probably more, but those are the ones I could think of off the top of my head.
     
  3. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 May 2015
    Posts:
    618
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Kansas City has them, Brevard and Toledo don't have them anymore
     
  4. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    2,086
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    Capital of Texas Zoo and Houston Zoo both have a pair, though they aren't on exhibit at the latter.
     
  5. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    905
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    @pachyderm pro : The most likely answer to your question is that there is no demand for them. Why would US zoos hold dingos? They are just feral dogs; they could serve an education role for the public, although this could still be done without actually keeping them, and beyond that there isn't much point.

    Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington IL (and a few other zoos) keeps New Guinea Singing Dogs, which are essentially the same thing as dingos but from a different landmass.
     
  6. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2007
    Posts:
    3,095
    Location:
    Phoenix
    Brevard does indeed have them. They are ambassador animals and not on regular exhibit.
     
  7. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    969
    Location:
    The City of Big Shoulders
    Thank you all for the info. It seems they are a rare (captivity) species but seem notible animal. Most zoo seem to have singing dogs over dingo's. Are they easier to handle?
     
  8. jibster

    jibster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Apr 2015
    Posts:
    247
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Writing off dingoes as merely feral dogs is a rather dismissive way to handle this issue, as there is certainly more conservation value for the dingo than an ordinary feral dog. While it does appear that dingoes were introduced to Australia by humans as domesticated or semi-domesticated dogs and thus the term "feral" is technically correct, there is no clear consensus on when such introduction took place and there is still some ambiguity about the proper nomenclature for the dingo (or indeed whether populations like the New Guinea singing dog are properly considered dingoes). Moreover, the IUCN has evaluated the dingo as "vulnerable," as there is a great threat of cross-breeding with domestic dogs. There are thus valid conservation reasons for zoos to keep pure dingoes (above any educational value).
     
    jayjds2 likes this.
  9. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2015
    Posts:
    905
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    @jibster : I have done more research on dingoes and have found that I was rather dismissive. I was under the impression that they were simply another one of Australia's many invasive species, albeit a much older one; it appears that studies around that are inconclusive, and that dingoes may in fact have a beneficial effect on the environment. This makes sense since Australia's large predators are now extinct and dingoes fill that void. It also seems quite possible that dingoes and New Guinea singing dogs are distinct canine populations with conservation concern, so you are right on your points.

    In terms of their value/demand in US zoos, the Canid TAG views them similarly to domestic dogs: recognizing that they have value for educational purposes, but wanting to limit their numbers because they occupy space that could be used for more endangered canines. This probably played a part in my misunderstanding. In any case, US zoos do not seem interested in a dingo breeding program and Australia would probably be the one to spearhead that if it becomes necessary in the future.
     
  10. Jarkari

    Jarkari Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2006
    Posts:
    1,616
    Location:
    Orange, NSW
    There is a lot of debate here around the dingo primarily due to the perceived threat and cost to livestock. Interestingly 6 times more livestock were stolen from farms in New South Wales than deaths that can be attributed to dingoes, wild dogs and foxes in both Victoria and New South Wales.
    Once you watch a dingo for some time the differences between them and domestic dogs is huge.
    Dingoes have curved longer canine teeth, flexible joints and the ability to fit their entire body anywhere their head will fit with the hooks at the base of a dingoes jaw being the widest part of its body.
    They can control ears independently have the ability to look along their own spine both by turning their head and "flipping" it upside down. A dingo can almost place the top of it's head on it's own back to look behind itself.
    The standard belief is that they have been present in Australia for 3,000 to 4,000 years however Aboriginal cave paintings dated back 30,000 years appear to depict dingoes working with and being hunted by first Australians. Carbon dating of one dingo skull appeared to be 15,000 years old however there was some interference.
    And you are correct extensive research has shown the presence of dingoes significantly reduces feral animal populations and allows small native animal populations to increase.