Get up close with a Fraser Island dingo on the Mainland
If you want to see a Fraser Island dingo up close then head to the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary on the outskirts of Maryborough or attend one of the group’s travelling shows.
Dingo Experiences are offered daily on demand at the sanctuary between 10.30am and 12.30pm then from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
Curator Ray Revill also takes the dingoes on the road to visit educational establishments, retirement villages, markets and festivals in Hervey Bay, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
The not-for-profit organisation, staffed by volunteers, has three female and two male dingoes ranging in age from two to five, including a rare white alpine dingo named Spirit.
Mr Revill visited the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere in Hervey Bay at the weekend with Spirit, Fraser Island dingo Wondai and western plains dingo Kora who is the leader of the pack.
They’re such regular visitors to the venue that Spirit usually settles into one of the beanbags, laid out for children in the lecture theatre, with all the daintiness of a ballet dancer.
Mr Revill said the careful movements were a trademark of dingoes which hunted by stealth.
Back at the sanctuary, visitors can enter the dingo enclosure with a trained handler.
“They get full interaction with the five dingoes,” Mr Revill said. “My dingoes will come up and give you a kiss.
“My guys will sit on command and they will shake hands and a few things like that.
Mr Revill’s huge passion for dingoes started when he was five or six years old.
“I fell in love with them back then and I’ve loved them ever since,” he said.
He has a tattoo on his leg of Karla, one of his first dingoes, who died in 2015 at 16 years of age.
Mr Revill’s dedication to his dingo pack extends to wanting to educate as many people as possible about their behaviours and postures and what they meant.
“I tell them enjoy your experience here but please remember when you enter the environment, they are a wild animal and they will not necessarily behave in the same manner,” he said.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service aims to conserve Fraser Island’s dingoes by leaving them free to roam, hunt and live as wild animals.
Visitors to the island, which recently marked the 25th anniversary of World Heritage Listing, are not allowed to feed dingoes or intentionally attract or disturb them and are advised to watch the animals quietly from a distance.
Dingoes are protected across Queensland’s national parks and penalties apply to anyone who breaks the rules.
By contrast, Mr Revill said because the sanctuary was staffed and the animals were accustomed to people, he encouraged hands-on experiences including petting and hand-feeding kangaroos and wallabies and wrapping the resident python around visitors’ necks.
For sanctuary prices and more details, visit www.fraercoastwildlifesanctuary.org.au