Simon Stretton with his dingo, Honey.
Simon Stretton with his dingo, Honey. Christian Berechree

Dingoes 'being smuggled off Fraser Island': Expert

OWNING a Fraser Island dingo might not be as rare as you think.

Simon Stretton from Durong Dingo Sanctuary, who houses 17 of the animals from Fraser Island on a property near Kingaroy, says he has long heard anecdotal accounts of dingoes and pups being smuggled off the World Heritage-listed island.

"People have been taking them off the island for the last 10-15 years," he said.

Mr Stretton said he had seen dingoes with tags in their ears, an identification system used on Fraser Island, on the mainland.

"I've seen Fraser Island dingoes and they've been known to be dumped as far away as Gladstone and Kingaroy."

Mr Stretton said people removed the dingoes thinking they were going to save them, usually because they were becoming habituated.

But he said the dingoes often lacked the skills to survive on the mainland, especially because people were a familiar sight for them.

"They are easy targets for farmers," he said.

Mr Stretton said he did not believe the dingoes should be removed from the island without permission, but with people taking boats and vehicles over, it wouldn't be hard to conceal an animal.

"They need to set up inspections or quarantines at barge points," he said.

Mr Stretton said he had been approached by the Darling Downs Zoo for a pure bred Fraser Island dingo a few years ago.

But he was no longer permitted to breed the animals, which he said was a blow to his conservation efforts.

Mr Robinson said the dingoes would rehabilitate the image of the animals in the eyes of many British people who only heard about attacks.

But Mr Stretton said he would be wary of giving people the wrong impression of dingoes as domesticated or friendly animals.