Oakvale Wildlife Park breeds first litter of dingo pups in 39-year history

Oakvale Wildlife Park is buzzing with the arrival of five new dingo pups.

The Salt Ash park’s two-year-old dingo Gili gave birth to her first litter on Friday afternoon marking a “momentous occasion” for Oakvale and Australia’s captive dingo population.

“We’re all very excited about their arrival,” Oakvale Wildlife Park curator Lachlan Gordon said.

“They are the first dingoes that have been bred at Oakvale Wildlife Park but the truly exciting thing about our puppies is that they’re extremely rare.”

CONTENT WARNING: This video contains scenes of a dingo giving birth

What makes the five pups rare is their genetics. Mr Gordon said many of the dingoes in captivity are related. 

Gili was paired with two-year-old dingo Hunter, both are products of the Australian Dingo Foundation, specifically because their genetics are “underutilised” in Australian zoos and wildlife parks.

Their pups are an all new pure genetic strain.

“It is a significant step for conservation as the purebred dingo is endangered with not many left in Australia,” Mr Gordon said. “Both dingo mum and dingo dad are of some of the purest genetics in Australia.”

Gili and her five pups after they were born at Oakvale Wildlife Park on Friday, July 6. Picture: Oakvale Wildlife Park

Gili and her five pups after they were born at Oakvale Wildlife Park on Friday, July 6. Picture: Oakvale Wildlife Park

Dingoes have one litter per year, which is between four and six pups. Gili and Hunter were paired together in March. The gestation period is between 61 and 69 days.

Gili went into labour about 4.30pm on Friday, July 6 and gave birth to her final pup about 8.30pm.

As Gili was not large when pregnant, park keepers believed she would have a litter of four.

Mr Gordon, who was there for the birth, said the first three arrived quickly. There was an hour wait between the third and fourth, and another hour between the fourth and fifth.

The pups are sable and golden in colour and one is jet black. There are three colour phases for dingoes: golden, black and tan, and white.

Hunter will be introduced to the pups this week. He has been kept separate from Gili and the pups to let the mother rest and eat a healthy amount of food. Once together they are expected to form their own “mini pack”.

The park will offer dingo puppy encounters between the three and 10 week age mark, starting mid-August.

This will give visitors a chance to meet all five puppies at the same time while they are small.

It is anticipated that once the pups are grown, they will be rehomed.

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