Pup almost starved to death
THIS timid, emaciated dingo pup is less than a year old and has spent at least a month struggling to survive in bushland around Maryborough.
The sickly youngster is almost certainly a purebred dingo snatched from Fraser Island and dumped on the mainland.
"We are fairly sure it is," TESS Wildlife Sanctuary curator Ray Revill said.
Mr Revill said that judging by its condition, the dingo, which was identified by colourings and markings, could have been roaming alone on the mainland for up to six weeks.
"It's going to need a lot of tender love and care," he said.
The dingo was delivered to the sanctuary early yesterday morning after Yerra residents Bill and Lorraine Stuart caught it.
Mrs Stuart said the dingo looked malnourished and at one point came right up to their house.
"He wasn't afraid. That was quite surprising," Mrs Stuart said.
Mr Revill believed there had been several cases, especially in the past 12 months, where pure-bred dingoes had been dumped on the mainland.
"This isn't the only incident where something like this has happened," he said.
Save the Fraser Island Dingo publicity officer Cheryl Bryant said the group had heard about cases of kidnapped (Fraser Island) dingoes, but had been unable to confirm any of them.
"We've heard of adult dingoes being taken and dumped in the bush," Mrs Bryant said.
"We've had people commenting that they've seen dingoes with ear tags." Mrs Bryant and Mr Revill agreed people might have mistakenly felt they were doing the right thing by taking the animal to the mainland.
"They are condemning it to death," Ms Bryant said.