A lonely dingo has found love again at the Australian Reptile Park. After the tragic passing of his mate Adina, the Australian Reptile Park’s resident male dingo, Fred, was in need of a new companion. Keepers went searching for a new friend for Fred and found the perfect match with Tahnee – a female dingo with the same rare black and tan colouring as Fred.
Guests and Keepers alike were heartbroken at the news of the passing of Fred’s mate Adina in May of this year. Adina, famed for being ‘Australia’s Friendliest Dingo’, was mates with Fred for over 7 years and had several litters of beautiful puppies. After her passing, Fred was given lots of comfort from his Keepers as he grieved the loss of his soulmate.
As Keepers carefully monitored his behaviour, they noticed Fred was lonely and in need of a new companion. Keepers began the search for his new friend and eventually found the sweet and gentle Tahnee.
Mammals Keeper Kaitlin Matheson says, “Seeing the difference in Fred is incredible. After we lost Adina, he was absolutely heartbroken. We made sure we gave him time to grieve and we knew there would be no replacing Adina. But after finding a new companion in Tahnee, the change in Fred is amazing.
“Dingoes are social creatures, and it was so important for us to find the perfect mate for Fred. After we learned that another black dingo was looking for love, we knew it was a perfect fit.”
The introduction process was slow and careful, with Keepers supervising meetings over several weeks to ensure that both dingoes were comfortable to meet each other.
“When Tahnee first arrived at the Park, Fred was so excited! He perked up immediately; ears forward, tail wagging – he couldn’t wait to meet her! Tahnee was a little more apprehensive with all the sights and smells of her new environment but eventually, she felt comfortable enough start interacting with Fred,” Kaitlin continued.
Now, the pair are closer than ever and can often be found sunbaking together on their favourite rock, playing together and getting the ‘zoomies’ as they sprint around their enclosure.
“Tahnee is just three-years-old so she has a tonne of energy! Fred is nearly 10 so Tahnee is definitely giving him a run for his money during playtime. He’s acting like a puppy again! It’s such a joy to see him happy again,” said Kaitlin.
As an active supporter of wildlife conservation, the Australian Reptile Park educates Australians about the importance of dingoes within the ecosystem, to protect them from extinction, and to dispel the myth that the dingo is a dangerous pest.
“The dingo plays a very important role in the Australian ecosystem, but dingoes are being blasted, baited, tracked, shot and hunted in the wild because of their perceived damage to agriculture. However, killing dingoes makes way for feral foxes and cats to continuously increase the rate of mammal extinction,” Kaitlin concluded.