One of the most ancient and rarest dog breeds on earth, once thought missing, has been sighted.
After decades of assuming the New Guinea highland wild dog had gone extinct, researchers from the New Guinea Highland Wild Dog Foundation have spotted a population of 15 dogs, including puppies in a very remote part of New Guinea, which is usually considered incredibly isolated and inhospitable. Thankfully, the pack of canines they spotted seem to be doing just fine too.
Numerous photographs taken via trail cameras set up through a large area, show a group healthy dogs with beautiful golden fur, living happily amongst the rough, mountainous terrain of the New Guinea central mountain spine.
This discovery is huge, especially since the last time anyone saw one of these pooches was almost half a century ago.
“The discovery and confirmation of the highland wild dog for the first time in over half a century is not only exciting, but an incredible opportunity for science,” says the group behind the find.
New Guinea Wild Dogs have been around for 6,000 years and are indigenous to New Guinea, with fossils found there indicating their ancient presence.
Initially it was believed they came with human migrants but many believe they got there on their own. It might prove to be a useful discovery too; these pooches could prove vital to science, as they can greatly aid in the understanding of evolution.
They look like large Shiba Inu’s with their curled tails, auburn fur and pointy ears. Though probably not best to try and give one a cuddle, they are wild animals after all.
Now that scientists know they exist, the plan is to work in conjunction with local companies and “inadvertently created a sanctuary in which the HWD could thrive,” states the NGHWDF.
We wish them luck.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.