Dingoes and Wild Dogs in Australia

Earlier in the week three dingoes attacked a man on Fraser Island. He was confronted by the animals as he walked along the beach on Monday night. He was bitten and scratched but managed to escape and was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital for treatment.

I knew there were dingoes on Fraser Island, I’ve seen one, took a photograph…

Dingo on Fraser IslandI am also fully aware that there are dingoes in the outback, again I’ve seen them and taken photographs…

Wild Dingoes in Central AustraliaThere was an item on the news last night that told me something I didn’t really know. Before I show you that news item, I want to tell you a story.

Dateline: Sometime between November 2007 and January 2008

Yes, I’m casting my mind back to when I first arrived in Australia and moved into our new house. This house has security lights fitted on a few of the outside areas, the sort that shine very brightly when any kind of intruder is heading towards the house after dark.

When you are living in a new house and these kind of lights go on, of course you look out the window to see what’s up. Sometimes it could be nothing more than a cane toad, mostly it would be a cat, but once it was a possum.

All good fun.

One night though, when these lights came on, it was a dog. A big dog, light tan in colour, no collar. I remember thinking “that’s a big dog, light tan in colour, no collar“.

I also remember briefly wondering whether it might have been a dingo, and then dismissing the thought. As I said, we’d not been living in the house long, so I was more inclined to believe it was a local dog wandering around. Probably happens all the time.

With the dog having no collar, so nothing to grab, and it being the middle of the night, gone midnight in fact, I decided to let the dog find its own way home.

But did it have a home? Or could it really have been a dingo after all?

Here is that item from 7 News last night.

Wild dogs on the prowl in the South East

So, it turns out that dingoes are pretty much everywhere around the whole of Australia. Not just dingoes, but wild dogs as well, that’s abandoned domestic dogs, and a hybrid of the two where they have crossbred.

As you saw in that video, they cause a lot of damage, I think the figure of $66 million worth was mentioned. They are a farmers foe when they attack their livestock, but a farmers friend when they control the rabbits, rats and kangaroos.

Dingoes are Australia’s largest land predator.

Dingo safety

Dingoes usually keep their distance from people and people should never approach a dingo, or worse still, dingoes. Don’t even call a dingo to come closer to you and never ever ever (that means really don’t do it) offer a dingo food.

If you feel threatened by a dingo, back away slowly and calmly but keep your eyes on the animal. It’s not a good idea to turn and run, you’ll just encourage the dingo to chase you.

In the unlikely event that you are attacked, fight back! They don’t like it.

Want to know a little more about dingoes? Over to Planet Doc for their short documentary “The Dingoes Strength“…

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Trevor March 13, 2017, 9:08 pm |

    Dingoes were the first species introduced by man, 50-60,000 years ago, from South-East Asia. Although originally descended from wolves, their closest living genetic relatives are the street dogs of Thailand, which are rabies carriers. Fortunately the only rabies in Australia is bat rabies, of which 3 recent cases were all fatal.

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