Introducing Kere, and the New Guinea Singing Dogs

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Pardon my tale if it seems choppy. My name is Kere, and I currently make my habitation at the San Diego Zoological Gardens. I am often distracted here by the sounds of other wild animals, so I cannot always concentrate on my storytelling.

I never thought that I would end up here. In the nineteen-fifties, someone classified my kin as wild animals, and so I have been brought to a place of refuge and protection from those who don’t understand my rarity.

I am on display for my howl, more than anything. People seem to love it when all of us NGSD break into song, enchanting those nearby with our melody. I don’t actually sing, but I produce a several-octave howl that when people witness it, they comment that it sends chills up their spines.

Am I a domesticated animal? Not at all, and I never have been in the traditional sense, though I have no fear of man. No one knows, and certainly not me, how my kin became part of the planet-wide expansion of people and dogs. It is my humble belief that neither dogs nor men would be as far advanced as they are without the other, and that they would not have wandered as they did, each providing something that the other needed. But back to my story.

Some humans believe that my most likely ancient ancestor is the clever, fierce tribal dog of India and Bangladesh. (Aren’t we all clever and fierce when we need to be?) The Pariah dog is referred to as a “landrace” or aboriginal dog of Asia. Some zooarcheologists believe that this aboriginal animal is the same one found in the ruins of Pompeii. That makes me part of a grand tradition whereby tribal peoples migrated and brought my granddogs over most of southeast Asia and Australia.

Read the rest of Kere's story in "In the Company of Dogs"!

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