‘KAKADU ranger patrols have shot three wild dogs after a dingo tried to drag a Victorian teenager from her sleeping bag at a popular tourist spot.’
First of all, the animal wasn’t trying to ‘drag the teenager’, only to drag the sleeping bag. But that’s beside the point.
The real issue that Australians have to address – who (or what) is a Dingo?
Is it the majestic all-Australian native in need of protection?
Or is it a cross-bred child-stealing pest that deserves to be shot on sight?
One way or another, a decision needs to be made. A wild predator can not be ‘blamed’ for attacking a human in their habitat – that’s natural behaviour. A dog on the other hand, is an introduced species and shouldn’t even be in a native habitat.
Dingos are genetically different from dogs, but no more then a Great Dane is genetically different from a Chihuahua. They also interbreed with dogs and some have argued that the real Dingo is already extinct and all we have today are dingo-dog cross-breeds.
Until this issue is resolved, the schizophrenic love-hate relationship with the Dingo will not end.