BRISBANE’S Alma Park Zoo has welcomed a very affectionate dingo pup, named Simba. Young Simba is gradually being introduced to the Zoo’s resident dingos, Summer, Simpson and Sahara. Alma Park Zoo Curator Dr Heather Hesterman said Simba was settling well into his new home and had already become a favourite among staff and visitors. She said having the small pup at the Zoo would help spread a wide conservation message of the native canine.

“Dingos and their conservation are essential for our Australian ecosystem, health and stability,” Dr Hesterman said. “In Victoria, control measures of fox and dingo numbers over the last few years have shown dingo numbers remain low. The ratio of foxes and dingos, however, have increased going from a 20 to one ratio to more than 210 to one in just the last three years!.”

Directors of The Australian Dingo Foundation which concentrates on preventing dingos from becoming extinct were pleased to see Simba arrive at Alma Park Zoo. “We are very proud to have a representative of the bloodlines we are trying to protect, at Alma Park Zoo,” Foundation founder Lyn Watson said. Dingos are free-roaming wild dogs mainly found in the Australian outback and play an important role in Australia’s ecosystems.