Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park

Dingo Education

The Dingo’s History on the Continent

There is scientific evidence for the dingo’s presence on the continent for at at least 4000 years. Some say dingoes may have arrived here as far back as 10000 years ago. Whichever number of millennia, it is clear that dingoes have been here long enough to deserve the status of “native predator”. This truth is underlined by the fact that there exist three different kinds of dingoes in Australia. The “Australian Wolf”, as they are also called, has had plenty of time to adjust to vastly different climate zones and eco systems in the course of its sojourn here. Desert Dingoes, Tropical Dingoes, and Alpine Dingoes have superbly adjusted to their respective environments and have developed distinct physical features and abilities to enable their survival in each of them.

There is much speculation as to the dingo’s whereabouts. Some say, they arrived on the continent via some sort of indigenous migration from Southeast Asia, possibly Papa New Guinea. Others believe, their migration may lie even further back in time and could have happened via a land bridge. We probably will never know the exact circumstances of their arrival. What we know, however, is that they have never been domesticated in the sense how we understand it. Primary sources from the time of the continent’s colonisation, describe entire dingo packs living “alongside” Indigenous communities. They coexisted, cultivating a mutually respectful and loving relationship with each other. The dingo features as an important totem-animal in First Nations’ traditions. The fact that dingo packs were kept intact is interesting in this context, as it proves the First Nations’ Peoples’ awareness of how dingoes function best in their role as top order regulating predators: any pack disruption will diminish their effectiveness.

In the light of their longstanding history here, there should be no question as to the fundamental need to protect those animals as a crucial part of the native fauna.

Dingoes are Not Wild Dogs

The notion that dingoes are “wild dogs” has established itself firmly in the collective national psyche. How detrimental this misnomer has been for these amazingly important animals can be gauged by their eradication from large parts of the country. The resulting collapse of ecosystems in the wake of native predation being gone bears witness to the fallout of this tragic and still prevalent misconception.

The terrible image of the dingo in Australia can be compared with that of the wolf in other parts of the world. For generations, the tale of the “big bad wolf” has fed into negative perceptions of this apex predator who – because of this vilification – has gone extinct from its native habitat on several continents.

Growing awareness regarding environmental issues, and growing awareness about the importance of native predation as a balancing component in struggling ecosystems have led many governments to reintroduce the wolf into the areas it has formerly inhabited and gone extinct from. Problematic aspects of this reintegration have been tackled successfully: appropriate fencing, specific dog-guardians for pastures, plus government-funding covering possible loss of livestock are some of the successful measurements employed.

Sadly, aside from Northern Territory, and few other places in our country, the dingo still faces the threat of extinction: poison baiting, trapping, and shooting are still allowed in many parts of Australia.

The fact that the dingo is not a dog, but the keystone predator on this continent, is still not being taught in schools, and is still debated in the chambers of our legislators, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the obvious: dingoes are “canis dingo”, acknowledged by scientists as a canine species on their own, due to their longstanding history on this continent. They are not canis lupus familiaris.

Dawn of a Dingo Day

Dawn of A Dingo Day is a work of passion, written by Great Ocean Road Wildlife Park’s owner and manager Yosef Lasarow. It is an extremely well researched work, discussing the true nature of the dingo, its function as the continent’s keystone predator, and the ongoing debate around its protection and reintroduction into the country’s national parks.

Much love has gone into this booklet, which features an introduction written by Lyn Watson, director of the Dingo Discovery Centre/The Australian Dingo Foundation. Prize-winning wildlife photographer and dingo advocate Gaz Meredith contributed stunning work featuring wild dingoes in the outback, prize-winning author Favel Parret contributed her expertise and connections in the publishing world to make it all happen.

Dawn of a Dingo Day is a short but concise work, adorned with beautiful photography, and filled with thought provoking material that every Australian should know.

Purchase your copy and become a dingo advocate. Proceeds go towards the Dingo Awareness campaign.

Dingo Conservation & 

Awareness Centre

For too long now we have mistaken the dingo for a dog and a pest to the eco system, and our country is now suffering the consequences of this misunderstanding. We believe it is vital to bring this to public attention, and it is for this reason that we have established the Dingo Awareness Centre. We are currently working in conjunction with the Australian Dingo Foundation, have written a book, Dawn of a Dingo Day and are working on a nation-wide campaign to stimulate this awareness. Our ultimate goal is to expose the vital dingo role, with intention to have its protection mandated across all states for the sake of ecological harmony.

All proceeds are being directed back into the movement to help drive 
this message forwards.

Book Now

Encounters are by appointment only and can be made at the front desk or online. As there are a maximum of 10 slots per encounter, it is preferable to book your experience online

ENTRANCE FEES – $30 per person.

Schools & Groups

Education is The Key

The dingo discussion spans much further afield than the dingo itself. Sadly, due to the lack of education in this field, the dingo has been passed off as nothing better than a threat to humans and a pest to the livestock industry. As a result of this lacking, the true responsibilities of this priceless animal have been sorely overlooked. Consequently, the ecology of Mainland Australia has been severely impacted as is evident in the overly excessive numbers of kangaroos, foxes, and feral cats, and all the carnage they are inflicting on the system.

Through our experience in working with, and learning about dingoes over the past ten years, we have come to comprehend the importance of the dingo role and the profound effect it has on establishing and maintaining ecological stability.

We have also gained insight into the farming/ecological industry concerns, and
through working dingo models, both in Australia and other parts of the world, we can shed light on a pathway that leads to harmonious existence between the farmer and the ecology. All that is needed is a better understanding of this dynamic.

To play our part in the wellbeing and betterment of this incredible land, we feel an urgent need to call out to schools, groups, the farming industry and individuals alike, and to share all that we have learned about an animal that can resolve many of Australia’s major ecological problems.

We invite you to join us in an unforgettable, thought provoking, dingo discussion and hands-on dingo encounter and help us make a difference.

Online Bookings

Individuals and small groups up to a maximum of 10 guests per session.

School groups and bus tours please contact us on the contact link below for a quote or any further relevant information.

Over the Counter Bookings

Bookings can be made over the counter on arrival; however, it is preferrable to make your booking online as there are time slots and a limited number of participants per encounter.

Age Groups

Because the information is somewhat involved, we recommend the dingo educational discussion for children aged twelve and upwards. Children aged 7 to 12 and are welcome to participate in the hands-on dingo encounter but must be accompanied by a paying adult. (Conditions apply).

School & Group Enquiries

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