June 30, 2014
Durong’s “Dingo Simon” has a problem: he needs to raise $8000 to build five new enclosures for his beloved dingoes. And he needs to do it quickly.
Six weeks ago one of the 17 dingoes at his Durong Dingo Sanctuary gave birth to four rare, pure white dingo pups.
Simon says the birth was a complete surprise.
The mother, Honey, had not come into season for the past few years and Simon thought she had fertility problems so he left her male companion, Mabo, in the same enclosure with her.
“Dingoes have a complex family structure that has been created over thousands of years of evolution, and keeping them separate is not a good idea,” Simon said.
“They’re companion animals and seek the company of their own. So keeping Honey and Mabo apart would cause them stress and agitation, and they’d be continually trying to escape get to their mate.”
Simon informed Biosecurity Queensland about the surprise birth, then set about trying to find homes for the new puppies.
Under the terms of his Biosecurity Queensland permit, he is only allowed to keep 17 dingoes at his sanctuary and not breed them.
Dingoes are regarded as a Class 2 Feral Pest by the State Government, rather than an endangered native species.
Simon found a home for one of the puppies, whom he named Spirit, with Ray Revill’s Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary in Maryborough; and two others went to Greg and Yvonne Culell’s Hall’s Gap Zoo in Victoria.
The three puppies were picked up by their new owners last Friday.
He has yet to find a home for the fourth white dingo pup, and had hoped to keep him.
But Biosecurity Queensland has reacted badly to the news, Simon says, and has now given him four options to retain his permit for the Dingo Sanctuary:
He now must either:
- Separate all the dingoes year-round, an option Simon believes is impossible because of the dogs’ complex social structures
- Forward the dingoes to another authorised sanctuary, which Simon also believes is also impossible because it appears – at the moment – no other zoo has suitable accommodation for dingoes, and relocating the animals would cause them immense stress
- Desex all the animals, which would destroy their value as breeding stock for scientific research, or
- Build five new enclosures to separate the animals during breeding periods, which Simon estimates will cost $8000 for materials
“I simply do not have that sort of money lying around,” Simon says.
“I had to sell off all my Droughtmaster cattle at a loss recently because of the drought, and things are tight.”
A friend of Simon’s, Zahra Chamberlain, has already set up a crowd funding site on GoFundMe.com to help raise funds, and other dingo groups are also trying to provide assistance.
Within two weeks, the GoFundMe site has attracted pledges of $790.
It’s still a long way short of the $8000 Simon needs, but it’s a help.
People who would like to assist Simon are invited to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign, or to email Simon.
[Photos: Durong Dingo Sanctuary]
- Related article: It’s A Dingo’s Life At Durong