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Plea to save forgotten dingoes in Romania

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Author Topic: Plea to save forgotten dingoes in Romania  (Read 34 times)
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« on: September 10, 2008, 01:32:57 pm »
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When Romania joined the European Union at the beginning of last year, it meant the start of many good things for the country.

It also meant Romania's institutions would have to satisfy the higher standards expected of EU members.

Most of Romania's zoos had to close down, because they could not afford to provide the bigger, better enclosures required by the EU.

Some of the animals have been moved to other zoos or wildlife sanctuaries but at Buhusi Zoo, in the country's north, a small group remains including three lions, four horses, some dogs and cats and four dingoes.

A global animal welfare charity is asking Australians to help rescue the four dingoes, which face an uncertain future.

Unless they are found a new home in the next few weeks, it is likely they will be put down.

American animal lover Laura Simms set up the Lions Roar project to help the animals.

"Our big, big problem are the four remaining dingoes," she said.

"No one will take them or create proper conditions for them, there are very few zoos with very little money in Romania and few animal sanctuaries.

"They have never had any dirt beneath their paws... separated in two other cages are two females [dingoes] who became quite aggressive when their families died and because of lack of food, freezing conditions."

'Bring them home'

Local community members have kept the animals alive since the zoo closed, with food provided by a local meat company, but that arrangement ended at the start of this month.

Ms Simms says she would like to see some Australians step forward to help them.

"These are the oldest wild dogs in the world and they have lived a terrible life and it would be wonderful to bring them back to Australia into sanctuary and see them well cared for and their stories told and live out their life well," she said.

Bradley Smith, a dingo researcher from the University of South Australia, says bringing the dingoes home might not be as easy as it sounds.

"These dingoes will bond to their environments and to the keepers and carers that they have," he said.

"If you start moving them when they're a bit older they'll get more distressed."

Despite the impoverished state of their current homes, Mr Smith says the dingoes will still bond with their environment and their carers.

"I guess that whatever environment that they're in they'll certainly think that's their territory and they'll certainly have a bond with that," he said.

Act quickly

The executive director of the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria, Martin Phillips, says Australia faces a moral obligation to make sure its native animals are well looked after in overseas zoos and parks.

"It's the intent of the government and the industry that animals go to good homes where they are well fed, will be looked after," he said.

"Another option I would explore is with the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums [which] is looking at rehousing them in an appropriate zoo within Europe where the animals would be well cared for and would have long and happy lives."

But Mr Phillips says if that approach does not work, the dingoes might have to be brought home.

"Obviously they need to find a permanent home for them and I'm more than happy to work with them to do that," he said.

"If bringing them home is the right option, I can also work with Australian zoos to see if we can find them a home."

But there will have to be action quickly, as the zoo's curator says he will have to put down the dingoes at the end of the month if a new home for them cannot be found.

Based on a report by Ashley Hall for PM, September 10.

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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 01:43:19 pm »
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In Australia, the Dingo is considered a pest. The most humane thing to do is to put them down. They should never have been sent to a god forsaken hovel like Romania anyway. Those people do not know how to look after their disabled children, let alone wild dogs that are considered pests in their own country of origin.

Some people have a romantic notion about dingoes but really they’re just another introduced species although you’ll never read that anywhere.

It is also illegal to have them as pets in Australia although they're just dogs and not a separate species.....

There is a famous Dingo that plays a piano in the centre of Australia.....he sings too, apparently. I don't know how they got away with having him as a pet but I guess things are more lax in the country areas. I don't know, or care really.. Grin

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