School holidays got off to a howlingly great start as two dingo pups made their ‘Dingo Debut’ at Adelaide Zoo.
“The transition to their new exhibit this morning went really well,” said Michelle Birkett, Senior Keeper Nature Theatre, Adelaide Zoo.
“We were surprised to see how bonded the pair are to their keepers and they did need a bit of reassurance at first. However, it wasn’t long before they were running around, digging, playing, sniffing and attacking the plants!
“I will be their dedicated keeper for the next two days and will keep an eye on them and pop into their exhibit on a regular basis to make sure they’re ok.
“They are both very friendly and affectionate. The female tends to be more watchful and into people while the male is more independent and playful.
“They’re both also smart and very good at picking up training.
“The pups currently have three feeds a day and will sleep inside their den at night,” ended Michelle.
The siblings, male and female, were taken in by Zoos SA back in May after they were found along with six other siblings abandoned near the Todd River and the Telegraph Station on the northern edge of Alice Springs.
“As a conservation charity we wanted to look after these gorgeous dingo pups. From the moment they arrived our keepers have been captivated by their behaviour and sense of adventure,” said Mark Smith, Curator of Adelaide Zoo.
“There’s so much that we can all learn about dingoes. Having them here at Adelaide Zoo is a very exciting opportunity and we’re very glad that we could offer them a home.
“We are currently working on the perfect names for the pair and these will be announced soon.
“There’s a lot of debate about dingoes and the differing management methods across the country. Having dingoes at Adelaide Zoo will allow us to discuss the species, their provenance and the differing management applications,” finished Mark.
On arrival the siblings went through a period of quarantine while undertaking regular training and interaction with keepers.
As a conservation charity with animal welfare at the forefront of its existence, Zoos SA is keen to not only care for the dingo pups but also to share the dingoes’ story with members and visitors.
With connecting people with nature as Zoos SA’s purpose, the conservation charity hopes the dingoes’ presence will provide the perfect opportunity to discuss the many perceptions and misperceptions about the species including the erection of a Dingo-proof fence, the anticipated threats to livestock caused by dingoes and the unsuitability of keeping dingoes as pets.
The dingoes’ new enclosure in the centre of Adelaide Zoo is sure to be a popular exhibit for families visiting over the school holidays.
During the school holidays visitors will also be able to see the Light Creatures lanterns that are part of Illuminate Adelaide with presenting partner SA Power Networks. To mark NAIDOC Week 2021, little visitors can get creative with a free colouring sheet of the stunning Light Creature’s Skink.
The 12-metre-long Skink is brought to life with storytelling from Kaurna and Narungga man, Jack Buckskin, and contemporary Aboriginal Visual Artist, Elizabeth Close, a Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara woman from the APY Lands.
Visitors are asked to book tickets in advance and to follow all guidance regarding COVID safety. Go to: www.adelaidezoo.com.au/tickets
For more details of the school holiday program head to: https://www.adelaidezoo.com.au/event/july-school-holidays/