What do you get a couple of playful dingo pups for their first birthday?
The answer is presents with hidden toys and plenty of attention.
The Ipswich Nature Centre’s pure breed alpine dingo pups Lola and Moose have turned one.
They reached the milestone birthday on 28 May and have celebrated in style at their birthday party.
Ipswich Nature Centre Senior Zoologist Nicole Richards said it feels like yesterday that the pups – then just 13 weeks old – arrived at the centre.
“They arrived in September last year as two youngsters full of energy,” Ms Richards said.
“Their average day consists of rising early, having a play, eating, running around, going for a walk playing and napping.
“They are very active, they keep us on our toes, but they have definitely worked their way into the hearts of all the keepers here.”
The playful pups enjoyed being centre of attention and Ms Richards hopes visitors who come to see them will leave knowing more about the native animals.
“Dingoes are an iconic Australian species and apex predators,” she said.
“Here at the Ipswich Nature Centre you have the rare chance to see dingoes up close and see why they are such an important animal.”
You can visit the birthday boy and girl Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 4pm.
Dingos (Canis dingo) have been roaming Australia for a long time, the earliest undisputed archaeological finding of the Dingo in Australia has been dated to 3,500 years ago.
They play an important role in ecological function as Australia’s only terrestrial top predator (top of the food chain).
They have been instrumental in regulation of many species such as kangaroos, rabbits, foxes and cats, therefore naturally promoting ecosystem balance.
But they also face continued attempt of eradication from hunting.
Consequently, they are under severe threat of extinction, particularly along the south-eastern coast of Australia, where agricultural and urban development’s dominate.
The Dingo has been listed as vulnerable with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (ICUN).
Dingoes rarely bark. They tend to howl, particularly at night in an effort to attract pack members or to ward off intruders.
The main threat to dingoes today comes from their contact with domestic dogs from interbreeding between the two leading to a dilution of the gene pool.
Visiting Ipswich Nature Centre
The Ipswich Nature Centre is located within Queens Park, Goleby Avenue, Ipswich.
Entry is free but donations are welcome.
- Tuesday to Sunday – 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
- School Holidays – Open 7 days – 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
- Public Holidays – 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
- Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday