New Guinea Singing Dog Caught on Camera for First Time in 23 Years

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Last August, Tom Hewitt, Director of Adventure Alternative Borneo, stumbled upon one of the rarest and most mysterious animals in the highlands of New Guinea - the New Guinea singing dog. According to Scientific American, Hewitt was lucky enough to capture one of the only photographs of the shy canine creature.

At first, Hewitt had no idea what he had taken a photograph of. When he realized how special his photo was, he contacted Tom Wendt, founder of New Guinea Singing Dog International.

"The only place a pure New Guinea singing dog could possibly be found would be in the remote highlands where the natives rarely visit, and due to the lack of humans present, a domestic dog would not thrive. This is exactly where Tom and his team were when the dog was sighted and photographed," said Wendt.

New Guinea is the second largest island on Earth and contains approximately 8% of the world's terrestrial and aquatic species. Still, its native dogs are hard to find. In the mid-'90s, a team spent almost an entire month searching for one to breed.

New Guinea is divided into the independent Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian-controlled West Papua. Hewitt states that the native dogs prefer to roam around West Papua, which is less populated and highly forested - perfect conditions for being kept alone.

The last time a photo was taken of the New Guinea Singing Dog was in 1989 by an Australian mammalogist and paleontologist. It is because of these rare photos that scientists can conclude wild dog populations still exist.


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We need an "Ivan T. Sanderson" to help us get to the bottom of this controversy!

December 17 2012 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Didn't some of his relatives sing "Jingle Bells" about 40-odd years ago?

December 11 2012 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Troy Simmons

the dog has a look on his face that says to me " Sup dawg?"

December 11 2012 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Come to the conservators center in NC. They have 6 singing dogs and are amazing "singers".

December 11 2012 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've got a singing frog. See?
"Hello, my baby
Hello, my honey
Hello, my ragtime gal

Send me a kiss by wire
Baby, my hearts on fire
... ribbit"

December 11 2012 at 5:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shortschoolbus's comment

My favorite WB cartoon!

December 11 2012 at 6:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The black rock on the right next to the dogs head, their looks like a picture of a dogs head in the rock. I thought it was another dog in the picture at first.

December 11 2012 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's the original article, which explains why they're called singing dogs. The photo above has been enlarged and cropped to focus on the dog, which makes it look a bit fake, but you can see the original, which has been veritified (see link to Tom Hewitt's blog post in this article, which explains how they verified it) in this article

December 11 2012 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These dogs appear to be very similar to the "singing dogs" known as BESENJIs which I believe originated in
Africa. The fact is, neither of these breeds BARK, they sing, or yodel! BELIEVE IT OR NOT! It is true!

December 11 2012 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would be nice if the "journalists" who write these pieces would bother to explain WHY the singing dogs are called singing dogs. Do they sing for real? And if yes, who are the singers who inspired them?

December 11 2012 at 2:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Can anyone not tell that the first couple of pics are cut and paste or photoshop? Surprised anyone would publish them as "actual" photos. Sad.

December 11 2012 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Anonymous's comment

I can't verify either way, but it looks like the back of the dog has light hitting it which makes it look like there is a distinct line between the animal and the backdrop. It just looks like the lighting in the photograph and that the picture isn't the clearest possible photograph (slightly grainy, etc.).

December 11 2012 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I suggets you google the term "Images You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped"

Because people who claims things are photoshopped are often embarrassingly wrong.

December 11 2012 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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