By Andrea Wren
Confession: This post is just an excuse to show off my dingo pictures!
There, I've said it. Now with the rest of my post...
I was talking about Australia last night to a friend who will be spending three months in Oz on a round-the-world trip. I told him Fraser Island was a MUST DO. When I was there in May 2009, however, the chances of seeing a dingo were not as high as imagined.
Fraser Island is the world's largest sand island, but uniquely has a rainforest growing on it. It's also home to a wild dingo population.
On my visit, our driver from The Fraser Island Company told us he'd not seen a dingo for six months. Yet lo and behold, we spotted two over the couple of days we were on Fraser. And if you read on, you'll see maybe they are more likely now to be observed.
The one I managed to get a picture of was a skinny, hungry dingo pup with an injured leg. We spotted him in the long grass, and saw him limping off in the search of food. I felt quite sorry for the little guy, who was clearly struggling to survive.
Dingoes are infamous for trying to steal food from humans and can sometimes be aggressive in their attempts to obtain it (entirely the fault of humans of course, who have encouraged them either by blatantly attempting to offer dingoes food, or by leaving rubbish, fish offal and so on around).
In fact, the problem has become such that two beach campsites that were on Fraser Island when I was there, one of which I stayed on, have since been forced to close.
I was surprised to find out about this. It's a shame, because camping by the beach (in a permanent tent with proper bed, that is - I am a camping phobic, after all) and taking a moonlit walk on the silica white sand was one of my favourite experiences in Australia.
I wonder if that pup managed to make it though? He was so thin, it's highly unlikely.
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