'Worst time of year': Dingo sanctuary owner speaks out
A PASSIONATE dingo advocate and sanctuary owner has expressed his shock at the latest attack on Fraser Island.
Speaking to the Chronicle on Good Friday, just hours after a 14-month-old boy was dragged from a camper trailer by a dingo, Simon Stretton from Durong Dingo Sanctuary said he could not believe what he was hearing.
He said his own experiences with dingoes on the island had been nothing but positive.
"Well, I am shocked this has happened," Mr Stretton said.
"The experiences I have had on the island, sleeping in a cheap tent, I experienced on two nights a dingo less than 12 months old was sniffing around our table at 10.30pm, we had gone to bed at 8pm.
"The next night at 10.25pm was another female dingo, most likely the mother of the pup I saw the night before. The mother only stayed about two minutes, as it could see there was no food scraps, she then jumped over the sand dune and headed down to the water."
Mr Stretton said it was not uncommon for dingoes to roam the beaches at night, looking for washed-up fish and other food sources.
He said this was the "worst time of the year" for interactions with dingoes.
"You must remember, right now, it is the full moon and the onset of the breeding season," he said.
"This is the worst time of the year for dingo-human interaction."
Mr Stretton, who owns and manages the sanctuary, which is home to a small colony of dingoes including the only captive Fraser Island dingoes in Australia, has long been a harsh critic of the management policy on the island.
He has spoken out against the decision to euthanise dingoes after attacks in the past and has called for the animals involved to be re-homed at his sanctuary.