As human beings, we have a responsibility to care for those who cannot care for themselves. From children who have been abandoned to moths flying dangerously close to the flame, we must try to help those who can’t help themselves whenever we can.
That goes double when it comes to wild animals that are threatened or endangered. When we lose one species, we don’t just lose them—we lose a critical part of our global ecosystem.
For years, researchers were sure that one special breed of wild dog from New Zealand had gone extinct like the many species before it. Then, they made a discovery that changed everything.
For more than 50 years, researchers believed that the New Guinea highland wild dog had gone completely extinct. Countless fans of the breed and advocates for the preservation of wildlife were devastated by the loss.
However, researchers recently made an amazing discovery. While exploring a desolate portion of the mountains of New Zealand, they discovered a pack of 15 highland wild dogs living, playing—and avoiding contact with human beings the best they could.
Scientists and highland wild dog-lovers all across the world rejoiced at the news. Now that they knew the dogs still lived, they could focus on providing them with the protection they needed in order to multiply safely.
These cuddly-looking fellows might seem like the perfect companions to snuggle up with on the couch, but they are still incredibly untamed. They represent something closer to the missing link between ancient dogs and the domesticated breeds we know today.
When we preserve the highland wild dog, we also preserve the key to understanding the origins of ancient dog breeds—and how they relate to the pups sitting inside our homes chomping on our slippers right now! It’s important (and adorable) research indeed.
What a tremendous find! Here’s hoping that, now that these beautiful wild dogs have been discovered alive and well, we can learn how to help them continue to thrive!
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