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How to be aware in the Wild…

A recent spate of dingo attacks on children at K’Gari (Fraser Island) has reverberated through the media.  Dingos are an ancient breed categorized as Pariahs.  This type of animal has not evolved in the same way our domesticated dogs have.  The breed is a free-ranger but will also live near humans if it can benefit.

Dingos are extremely intelligent and resourceful. They have remained around the top of the food chain for about 20,000 years.  It is supreme hunter and scavenger.  He has a low body odour which is essential for a successful hunter.  The herbivores he feeds on prevents vegetation being eaten down to the ground.  His stomach can tolerant things that would make a domestic dog ill.  His jaw pressure is also higher than that of your dog. His body frame needs to remain lean and it is highly flexible.  They have been known to eradicate populations of feral cats and foxes.

Autumn is when Dingo’s mate.  It is a time of dominance which means they are more territorial during this period.

It is special indeed to be able to see this animal living wild in its environment. Sadly their interactions even indirectly with humans have become a hinderance for our relationship.  The problem has stemmed from intentionally and unintentionally feeding Dingos.  Over time they have become more bold around humans.

We can only stress that in any area where Dingos range, please follow the instructions – 

Never feed Dingo’s

Never encourage or excite a Dingo
Encouraging Dingos to approach you increases your chance of injury
Dingos that become a threat to people are usually destroyed.

Lock away all food & scraps, rubbish and iceboxes
Leave no food unattended – not even scraps or spills

Clean BBQ’s and utensils.
Keep fish and berley off the ground and in sealed containers.
Pack away any smelly attractants such as boots, socks, tea-towels and dish cloths.

Store food or food containers and rubbish either in your car or in lockers provided.
Store unopened beer or food cans in your vehicle.
Always stay within arm’s reach of your children (even young teens).
Walk in groups
Do not sit or walk alone
Do not run or go jogging outside the fenced areas
Carry a stick or umbrella for protection
At lakes and popular sites consume food inside the fenced areas provided.

If threatened stand your ground or back away and confidently call for help but do not run.  A dingo may approach with curiosity but running excites them.
If in pairs or a group, stand back to back. Do not wave your arms about.

If you have been attacked, approached or had a negative encounter with a Dingo make sure the incident is reported.  Make observations about the Dingo such as any unique variations or features which may identify that Dingo.

The rules may sound extreme, but they are not. It is essential for the safety of the Dingo’s and humans alike.  It is essential if we wish to retain the privilege of being able to see them in their natural habitat. If you want to protect people and protect Dingo’s follow the rules.

Every main stop, feature of interest, camp site, shop, car park & toilets on K’Gari has plentiful signs clearly indicating what to do and not to do due to Dingos frequenting in the area.  Some signs even tell you how to identify a Dingo and flyers are available too.

The rangers and caretakers of K’Gari have gone to great lengths to educate and protect people.  I have personally seen first-hand, people ignoring the signage requests which have been carefully designed to increase safety.  Do the right thing.

Go to the link below to download your own Dingo-Safe brochure…

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/157232/be-dingo-safe-flyer.pdf

Leah & Angela OMeara

Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)