SPECIAL GUESTS: Author Fred Williams with Sonia Hutchinson and former Fraser Island brumby Ellie at the launch of the book Equine Epitaph - Fraser Island's Last Brumby.
SPECIAL GUESTS: Author Fred Williams with Sonia Hutchinson and former Fraser Island brumby Ellie at the launch of the book Equine Epitaph - Fraser Island's Last Brumby. Alistair Brightman

Fraser Island brumby turns heads at book launch

RESIDENTS have been given the rare opportunity to meet and have a photo taken with a Fraser Island brumby.

Ellie was the last foal to have been granted a permit off Fraser Island and now aged 21, her life is vastly different from her younger years.

She soaked up the sunshine and admiration yesterday as the special guest during the launch of author Fred Williams' latest book at Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum.

The book, titled Equine Epitaph - Under The Rainbow - Fraser Islands Last Brumby, is largely about her.

For Mr Williams, Fraser Island's wildlife is close to his heart and he has spent decades researching it.

He recalls going to the Heritage-listed island "hundreds" of times through the years.

Author Fred Williams at the launch of his latest book
Author Fred Williams at the launch of his latest book "Equine Epitaph - Fraser Island's Last Brumby" at the Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum. Alistair Brightman

Disappointed that brumbies were removed from the island in the first place, he thinks it was not too late to reintroduce them.

"There are experts who could re-establish the population," Mr Williams said.

"There are six brumbies on the island now that we know of."

The former Hervey Bay resident, who grew up surrounded by horses, said the reintroduction of the animal would in turn strengthen the dingo population as brumbies were a popular feed among the dogs.

Mr Williams entertained a crowd at the book launch by telling stories about Fraser Island and Ellie.

Ellie's tale includes a gruesome dingo attack which almost claimed her life.

People, who saw her suffering, saved her and relocated her to mainland.

She now lives on a farm in Armidale.

Mr Williams said it was "humbling" to see residents come out in support.



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