Born in August 2015, the three brothers are originally from the Bargo Dingo Sanctuary in New South Wales. They arrived at Cleland Wildlife Park in November and are adjusting very well to their new home. Absolutely adorable and getting bigger by the day, they are just as mischievous as you would expect of a puppy!
Their names are Jiemba, Warrigul, and Dusty. Jiemba comes from the Wiradjuri language and means 'laughing star', Warrigul is a variation of the word 'wild dog', and Dusty needs no explanation and was a popular suggestion. The names were chosen after a competition held on the Cleland Wildlife Park Facebook page and the lucky winners were awarded a meet and greet session with the dingo pups.
It's not easy to tell these cheeky chaps apart, but if you look closely and spend some time with them differences in their appearance and personality become apparent. Warrigul has a darker muzzle than the other two and the keen instincts of a hunter, Jiemba is a little fuzzier and very affectionate but is chief mischief-maker, while Dusty is an exuberant puppy that loves to rough and tumble with his brothers and already has a couple of scars on his face to show for it.
The dingo pups are currently under constant care while being kept in a temporary enclosure. There are no set times to see them, but when conditions are suitable and their schedules allow, the pups can be observed in an enclosure behind Oceans to Outback (the reptile house) and alongside the red kangaroos. When they are old enough and have fully settled in to life at Cleland, they will be moved to a permanent enclosure.
They love seeing new faces and sniffing out new people, so do get along to see the dingo pups during your visit to Cleland. Don't worry, dingoes don't tend to bark like domestic dogs do, but if you're lucky you might hear them howl. You can learn more about Australia's wild dogs at the keeper talk held daily at 2.30 pm when Mirrhi and Boonari, Cleland's 10- and 9-year-old mother and son dingo pair, have their lunch.
They're a highlight at Cleland at the moment and hopefully a dingo encounter will be available soon. Even if the pups aren't out during your visit, it won't be wasted because there are many more native animals to see. You can feed kangaroos and wallabies, cuddle koalas, hold a snake or lizard, and watch the endangered Tasmanian devils being fed.
Cleland is quite a large wildlife park, so allow plenty of time for your visit, at least two hours, though you could easily spend a whole day wandering around talking to the animals. To get the most out of it, schedule your time around the keeper talks. Pack some food because it's a nice place to picnic (then you won't have to fork out the cafeteria fees for lunch – though the food on offer is delicious!).
Cleland Wildlife Park is located in the Adelaide Hills, just a 20 minute drive from the city. Its open every day (except Christmas and on days of catastrophic fire danger) from 9.30 am to 5 pm. Entry costs $22 for adults, $18 concession, $11 for children, or $50 for a family. Please visit the Cleland Wildlife Park website for further information.