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Rare Singing Dog Found To Still Exist In New Guinea

The elusive and shy New Guinea singing dog has not been seen outside of captivity in more than 23 years -- until recently. The canine, which is related to the Australian dingo and named for the coyote-style howling it New Guinea Singing Dog In Captivity (Photo by Jean/Creative Commons via Wikimedia)New Guinea Singing Dog In Captivity (Photo by Jean/Creative Commons via Wikimedia)does, was feared extinct in the wild. Only about 200 of the dogs remain on display in zoos or in homes as pets.

In September members of a tour group hiking into the remote highlands of the island were surprised to find that they were being watched by a wild dog. They observed the canine for about fifteen minutes as it continued to watch them curiously. It showed no fear of humans which is typical of an animal species that has lived isolated from humans for generations.

In spite of the fact that the dog was seen in the range that has long been known to be its ancestral home, photographs are being studied by experts to make sure that it really was a singing dog. The color of the dog in the photos differes somewhat from the tan and black colors that had been observed historically.

A trek to search for the dog in 1996 turned up only paw prints and scat, suggesting that at least a few of the animals still existed. Finding a wild population could allow for the infusion of new DNA into the limited captive gene pool to improve the prospects of the captive breeding program. This would allow humans to breed stronger, healthier individuals to be released back into the wild.

Source: National Geographic

Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger
PetsLady.com

Comments
Jan 13, 2013
by Anonymous
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Readers need to understand

Readers need to understand that the canine photographed cannot be verified as being a Singing Dog. No "expert" exists who can verify purity simply by looking at a photo, especially a photo of this quality, taken at such a distance. This photo could be of a stuffed animal just as easily as it could be alive. Additionally, there is no set color for NGSD. Coloration varies. Nearly all of the captive population shades from sandy color to a darker red. There are a few black, tan, and whites(tri-colored). People who write articles and blogs need to be careful what they write since much of the information cannot be verified as true.

Jan 13, 2013
by Anonymous
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Sorry, I forgot to sign my

Sorry, I forgot to sign my comment. My name is oldsingerman20. My wife and I have conserved New Guinea Singing Dogs for 24 years.

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