The sight of wild animals in their native environment is always thrilling and the same safety rules always apply, for both the animals and tourists. This is particularly so when it comes to the dingoes who live on Fraser Island.
Dingoes were first introduced to Australia from Asia around 4 500 years ago and the ones living on Fraser Island are the purest strain in the country. Even though they look similar, they are not related to dogs and they do not bark. Dingoes are not pack animals but live together in complex extended family groups. They have one litter of pups each year and all members of the group are involved in their care.
Dingoes are omnivores – their diet includes small mammals like bandicoots and goannas, fish and birds, seeds and nuts as well as carrion. They spend several hours every day guarding their territory, leaving scent markers and searching for food. Because they are naturally inquisitive dingoes will not hesitate to investigate campsites and vehicles, and will help themselves to food and rubbish that is left within reach.
Over the years dingoes have become used to people being a part of their environment. They can be aggressive and unpredictable, especially at breeding times and when juveniles are learning to explore and play together. There are strict guidelines visible on signs and in brochures everywhere on the island, and in order to ensure visitors’ safety park rangers will fine those who ignore the rules.
It’s exciting to see the dingoes that live on Fraser Island in their own natural setting. Just remember, they are wild animals – treat them with respect.