Dingoes hand fed for better photo

AMATUER and professional photographers are partially to blame for making Fraser Island dingoes reliant on humans for food.

That is the view of professional Fraser Coast photographer Daniel Tweed who has lived in the area for the past 23 years.

Mr Tweed said people trying to get photos of dingoes enticed them closer to the lens by either hand feeding them or throwing them treats.

“It is my firmly held belief that in order to get a decent shot of the dingo, because they were skittish, was to bring them in closer with food.”

Mr Tweed has never fed dingoes but has seen backpackers throwing food in the animals’ direction to draw them closer for a holiday snap.

“I wouldn’t go blaming photographers per se, but people just wanting a decent dingo shot.

“The dingoes on Fraser Island are the purest breed in the world and yet here we are, people with cameras, people waiting to get a better shot, enticing them with food.

“The dingo then sees you as a food machine; you stop it from hunting.”

Mr Tweed’s comments come after Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Kate Jones revealed food, such as red meat and chocolate, has been found in autopsied dingo stomachs.

Autopsies carried out on destroyed dingoes showed nearly three-quarters of examined stomachs contained solely human food or a combination of natural and human foods.

“It shows dingo feeding has occurred on the island for years despite the best efforts of Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to discourage the practice through intensive public campaigns,” Ms Jones said.

“While the majority of people do the right thing, some continue to feed or make food available.”

The news comes as Ms Jones issues a dingo warning as Fraser Island prepares for an influx of visitors during school holidays.

Other food found in dingo stomachs included fruit, beetroot, sausages, steaks and cornflakes.

Although Mr Tweed is concerned about dingoes eating human food from untidy beach camp sites, he is primarily worried about dog food being a part of the dingo diet.

“Why was commercial dog food found if dogs aren’t allowed on Fraser Island?”

“It shows intent to feed them.

“People need to remember we’re in their environment.

“I think to take photographs of dingoes you’ve got to be very lucky, very patient and careful. They are wild animals.”

On the lookout.
  • Fraser Island campers and residents are being urged by the State Government not to feed dingoes and to be watchful of dingoes and their pups.
  • Dingoes lose their hunting skills when fed by humans.
  • Feeding dingoes and leaving food exposed can see people slapped with penalties up to $4000.
  • On-the-spot fines of $300 can be issued.
  • Parents should always supervise their children.
  • Families are urged to camp in fenced grounds at Central Station, Dundubara, Lake Boomanjin, Dilli Village and Waddy Point.

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