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Durong Dingo Sanctuary Visitors

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Tue, September 15, 2015

Year 10 student Jade McKeown-Ramsay is barking mad about the future of the dingo. Jade has taken it upon herself to raise awareness of the native canine to not only her fellow students but also the entire world. As part of her media assignment, Jade lured Simon Stretton from Durong Dingo Sanctuary to Sheldon College to film her documentary.

McKeown approached Simon Stretton, Queensland's largest dingo sanctuary owner, with a request for a hands-on interactive session with the native animal for both herself and her classmates.

When the logistics of transporting hordes of students out of school proved non-viable, McKeown improvised and established a plan, Biosecurity Permit and all, that culminated on Monday when Mr Stretton made the 670km trip from his Durong Dingo Sanctuary 75 kilometres from Kingaroy, to Sheldon College with two dingoes in tow. Opened by Mr Stretton in 2008, the sanctuary provides dingoes with a safe haven to guarantee their survival and to also offer an educational research facility. “The dingoes and their ties to Indigenous people and their place in Australian history and culture is something that needs to be recognised,” Jade said. “So my documentary for Year 10 media studies is going to be about the dingoes on Fraser Island and how they are not as dangerous as everyone thinks. “Having Simon visit with his dingoes will help me immensely for my documentary which aims to shed new light on one of Australia’s most questioned native animals.”

The Fraser Island dingo population has been the centre of much controversy in recent years with the native animal responsible for many random attacks on humans. Mr Stretton said the dingo was a much maligned animal and it played an integral part in the eco-system. “The dingo is integral to Australia. They are classified as Canis Dingo, an individual species, giving further validation to their arrival more than 18,000 years ago,” he said. “The country's natural ecological balance is highly dependent on the dingo as Australia's apex land predator. “Farmers are experiencing the environment being devastated by 'wild dogs' adversely affecting their livelihood. Growing wild dog (dingo cross feral dog) populations are affecting the pure strain of dingoes on the mainland as well as other native species.

“The Qld Government can be commended for trying to eradicate wild dogs. The use of its baiting program has also devastated many other native species, not the least of which is the dingo.”

Well done Jade and thank you very much Mr Stretton for making the trek to Sheldon College, dingos are certainly beautiful animals. For more information on supporting or visiting the sanctuary see their website: www.durongdingosanctuaryqld.com.au/