Australian Dingo Facts

Australian dingo was originally an introduced animal.

As Australian as dingo may sound, it is not a native animal in Australia. Dingo was introduced to Australia about 5,000 years ago from South-east Asia, and is thought to have evolved from Indian wolf.

Dingo on Sand Dunes, Northern Territory, Australia
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Dingo Fence, aka Dog Fence
It is now found in most of mainland Australia, except in areas in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia where it is kept out by the Dingo Fence, as long as 6000km. Its absence in Tasmania (and red fox’s) has saved Tasmanian Devil that got extinct on mainland since dingo was introduced.

Part of a 3307 Mile Long Wire Fence to Keep Dingoes Away from Sheep
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The Wild Dog
Australian Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) is a dog-looking animal that is most often ginger in colour but you can exceptionally see a black or white dingo. They grow up to 1220mm long and weigh up to 24kg. They breed between April and June and give birth to 1-10 pups about 60 days after mating. Baby dingo puppies are very cute but Australian dingo is not a suitable pet animal.

Dingo, Australia
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Australian Dingo Habitat
Dingos live in all terrestrial habitats like forests, woodlands, heath and grasslands. They eat reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and in coastal areas, fish. They are mostly nocturnal and very territorial. They mark the boundaries of their territories and male dingo defends its territory so groups seldom cross boundaries. The size of the territory, and the size of a pack, depend on the quality of habitat. The more resources there are, the smaller the territory, and the smaller the pack.

Dingo, Canis Familiaris Dingo, Red Centre, Northern Territory, Australia, Pacific
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What Do Dingos Eat?

Dingo is the largest carnivorous land animal in Australia, and it eats all other animals it can get. Wild dingos often hunt alone, but for larger prey like big kangaroos pack-hunting is needed. Dingo lives up to seven years old.

Dingo Licking its Lips after Drinking from a Water Hole
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Pets of Aborginal People
When dingos were brought to Australia by Asian seafarers, Aboriginal people adopted them as guards and companions, and dingoes still appear in Aboriginal stories and art.

Side Profile of a Dingo Dog Sitting (Canis Familiaris Dingo)
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Australian Dingo Attacks
Dingo is often hated because it kills both livestock and native Australian animals, and because of a few attacks that have happened on people.

 Death of Azaria Chamberlain

The most famous dingo attack happened in 1980 at Uluru (Ayers Rock), when the two months old Azaria Chamberlain went missing on a family camping trip.

Her parents reported her missing and said she'd been taken by a dingo from their tent. Both were charged and spent three years in prison, until in 1986, a piece of Azaria's clothing was found in a dingo lair.

The long case was completely finalised as late as in 2012, when it was finally decided it was a dingo that took the baby. The case is one of the most famous ones in Australian history, and got a lot of media coverage. The movie "A Cry in the Dark" was based on the story, and many books have been written, by her both parents as well as other authors.



But many people argue that livestock doesn’t make up more than 2% of its diet, and that dingo doesn’t affect native ecosystems because it has been in Australia for so long that native animals have had time to adapt evolutionary to a predator like dingo. Attacks on people have only happened because dingo looks like a dog and it’s easy to forget that it is a wild animal. In places where people have fed them, they lose their fear of humans and may attack, particularly kids.

Wild Dingo on Beach, Australia
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Places to See Australian Dingo

Love them or hate them, they do bring in some tourist dollars and good places to see them in the wild are Fraser Island in Queensland, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in Northern Territory, and Lake Eyre in South Australia. Dingo is also found in most of Australian zoo parks.

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