Monday, 11 April 2016

I cried as I read a letter from the past

Today I read a letter to Berenice Walters from John Hogan. I never met John, but he loved Berenice’s dingoes especially Napoleon. Eventually John became the first person to have hearing assistance dingo.

The reason I cried will become apparent in a moment but first I need to explain to those who may not know how desperate the situation is on Fraser Island for the resident dingoes.

I’ll try and be brief and put it in dot point:

  • Fraser Island is a world Heritage Listed Island and the largest sand island in the world.
  • The dingoes inhabiting Fraser Island, and have done so before white man took a step on it, were once believed to be the purest strain of dingo.  
  • The Queensland Government has put the tourist dollar as a higher priority to conservation of both the island and the dingoes.
  • The treatment of the dingoes, under the authority of the Queensland Wildlife and Parks Services has been nothing short of appalling, cruel and lacking in understanding of the Dingo's character, habits and needs.

For more information about the situation on Fraser Is this website is a good place to start

The reason for the title of this blog is this extract from John’s letter dated 12th January 1989:

I have been away with my family. The most interesting place of all was FRASER ISLAND where the dingoes are roaming freely and have no access to the mainland.

They usually came close if we were sitting or laying on the ground. They would move away if we were standing or walking - they were self defencing their treasured bodies and beautiful cute faces. The firearms, traps and farming animals are forbidden on the island. I see the dingoes smiling at the warning notices to preserve their privacy.

It was great to see their freedom and pride in the world's largest sand island. They have walked and slept peacefully without attacking anybody for at least 60 years, as the rangers told us, when the loggers first saw them in 1932. Rangers also claimed that the dingoes are their natural friends and are respected.

What has happened in just under 30 years?

Where are the rangers who considered the dingoes their friends? If a dingo is accused of attacking a human, regardless of the fact the human behaved in a stupid and ignorant manner, it is destroyed by the rangers. It is the rangers that attach heavy, cumbersome ear tags; tags weighing ears down or worse tear them.

Where are the laws putting dingoes first?

I have always wanted to visit Fraser Island and always imagined it to be the way John described it but I don't think I ever will until the situation is reversed. I know it would break my heart to see them in the condition they are now - underfed and becoming inbred due to the reduction in their numbers.

When I went searching for information on the internet I was astonished and disgusted at the big fancy resort ready to grab the tourist dollars at any cost to the island and the dingoes.

Really, if people want to holiday in places like that there are plenty of other Queensland islands already ruined by the tourism industry.

I appeal to any reader from overseas to please spread the word, not just about the Fraser Island dingoes, but all dingoes in Australia. People world-wide support campaigns on behalf of dolphins, whales, pandas, wolves, foxes and many more but the world does not seem to know about the plight of our beautiful dingoes maligned and mercilessly hunted since 1788.

1 comment:

  1. I too just cried as I read this Pamela, so well written. I'm truly afraid for what future there is left for the dingoes of Fraser Island. Authorities have known and should have addressed the issues of interbreeding and the dwindling populations years ago! If QPWS continue to manage as they are, we have lost them forever....