Back to the Future and the Fraser Island dingo
Long before World Heritage listing the dingo lived in harmony with the Indigenous people on Fraser Island and later with European residents and workers, some dingo families even whelped their litters under the verandahs of residents.
There was a mutual respect that many visitors today do not understand and, unfortunately, this has lead to instances of human/dingo conflict.
Like most members of the canidae family, the Fraser Island dingo is an opportunistic hunter and scavenger, whilst their native diet consists mainly of small mammals, also wallaby, reptiles, fish and fruit, as scavengers they will enter tents and take food that is not properly stored, again resulting in human/dingo conflict.
Dingoes are not aggressive by nature but are extremely curious and notorious thieves , it is not unusual or atypical for the animals to be attracted to the aroma of cooking food, bait buckets or open eskies.
This behaviour should not be considered a sign of aggression or treated as an 'incident', the term implies the animal is acting out of character, which is not the case.
As the Easter holidays approach the dingo will again be put under pressure by the enormous influx of tourists, over 15,000 vehicle permits were issued for Fraser Island between December and the end of February - an increase of more than 2,500 vehicles for the same period the previous year.
Easter is also the commencement of the dingo mating season, the chances of a dingo encounter over this holiday period is likely, if tourists abide by the guidelines and do not attempt to interact with or feed the animals, then Easter on Fraser Island can be a positive and safe experience for both tourists and wildlife.
Education, respect and understanding are crucial if we are to preserve and protect the future of the Fraser Island dingo.
Save Fraser Island Dingoes Inc.