Sir Edward Hallstrom, then president of Australia’s Taronga Zoo, presented the San Diego Zoo with our first singing dog, a female, in 1957. (The dog’s species name, hallstromi, comes from Sir Edward.) We received a male the following year. Since that time, we’ve had 30 pups born at our facilities.
Currently, a small pack of singing dogs can be seen along Park Way at the San Diego Zoo. And we have two singing dog ambassadors: Montana at the Zoo and Biango at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. They meet our guests up close during animal presentations and make appearances on television.
Once found throughout New Guinea, it is believed that just a few singing dogs remain in the wild, living in damp, mossy, thickly forested highlands. If the New Guinea singing dog is in fact a true wild dog, then its status is endangered. There are only several hundred documented animals in existence, with the majority living in managed-care facilities. Threats to these dogs include inbreeding, breeding with domestic dogs that have been introduced to the island, and habitat destruction.