The dingo is a wild dog and one that is looked upon in fear by most because of its reputation, but they sure are beautiful dogs. But what don’t we know about this highly misunderstood beautiful creature?
Fear was instilled into the hearts of many after news broke back in 1980; a dog entered a tent and went away with a baby. Fans of Seinfeld will remember the infamous scene in which Elaine mimics the Australian accent calling attention to the most terrible occurrence.
A film was also made about the ordeal: A Cry in the Dark starring Meryl Streep and Sam Neill, but the incident itself has been shrouded in controversy ever since. And the dingo as a whole species was shown in a bad light ever since.
But just what happened on that day so many decades ago, and are dingoes safe to have around or not?
Let’s take a look at this most misunderstood of the wild dogs, the dingo
The gruesome details involving the Azaria Chamberlain incident from 1980 are too horrible to go into here, but to review them as lightly as I can, parents Lindy and Michael Chamberlain stated that a dingo in fact caused the death of their under 1-year old infant, having entered their tent.
After an investigation however, it was alleged that the parents may have in fact been the culprits—specifically the mother—in the terrible act. Mother, Lindy, even spent quite some time in jail, but the case was appealed and reopened a few times over the years and in 2012, it was decided by coroners that the dingo story rang true because of other attacks in the area.
However, despite the supposed findings, the seed of doubt was planted into the minds of many that had followed the case and read about it thoroughly as it occurred, and many knew the dangers of dingoes, and it would have been easy to lay the body of someone in or near the dens of dingoes allowing them to take the blame for an atrocious act, many felt and still feel.
There are those that believe the new findings however, to be clear.
Now, dear readers, there is so much to this case, and I cannot get into everything here, but the Wikipedia page on the case is indeed an interesting read and after you finish it, you’re left with more questions than answers, but one major one I was left with was the dingo…is the dingo dangerous? And even, can it be adopted even as a pet of all things?
Too many questions still haunt many despite the official closing of the case and subsequent ruling: Questions like, why wasn’t any dingo saliva found on the baby’s jumpsuit found later? If a dog is about to have a meal, he or she will be drooling copiously…? Also, what about the possible blood found in the couple’s vehicle’s dashboard if the baby was taken from the tent?
See…? Like so many other crime stories out there, too many questions have come up over the years, but really, we cannot be sure of any of this, one way or the other, and the end result is both surviving parties, Lindy Chamberlain and the dingo species’ reputations will be shrouded in controversy forever.
But what of dingoes…? Safe or not to have around?
Studies have shown that dingoes are originally from South East Asia and showed up in Australia about 5000 years ago. According to petkeen.com however, despite the fact that there have been real reports about dingo attacks, the attacks are in fact quite rare.
Wild dogs are all a tad hostile when it comes to dealing with humans or another living thing. But they haven’t been trained. They are undomesticated, so that means interactions with humans is nil, so they don’t know how to act. The same can be said of wild cats and obviously other wild dogs, so that’s a big issue when judging the animal’s behavior.
As far as interaction with other animals, they have to survive don’t they? Of course they do, but again they haven’t been trained on how to act around other animals.
Something else that’s pretty important to remember: Animals aren’t evil…they don’t premeditate…they have no idea what is sacred to humans or not…they know only that they need to survive; they’re not out to get anyone maliciously. It’s nature and sometimes nature is as bleak and straightforward as just that.
As far as the safety of a dingo, a dingo can be safe and it is in fact legal to adopt one in certain parts of Australia, but there are conditions. The pups need to be adopted before they’re six weeks old and they need to be trained well, according to the aforementioned source (link above). So in the end, a bad rap for a dog that can be trained after all.
As an animal lover I find the need to say the following: It is most often when humans aren’t careful that animals are blamed for their behavior, which when not properly trained, or their territory is encroached upon, and it isn’t their fault.
It is up to us as humans to understand when it is safe to enter the lion’s den and when it is not, so to speak. Enter at your own risk, as they say.
Animals deserve the respect of their space and their habitats to be protected and if it is possible to domesticate a dog and train him or her properly, they should be given that chance to if it is possible.
After all we live in an age of Messi the domestic puma, bears as pets…we see it online all the time. Animals understand far more than we give them credit for, and it’s sad to see even domestic dogs like pit bulls get bad raps because of the circumstances they may have been put in.
We need to be better as humans and respect the animal kingdom for what it is. Example: you don’t properly train your pit bull; it bites someone on a walk, you get sued, the dog meets a most terrible end. Who’s at fault? If you couldn’t afford lessons to train the dog appropriately, well, adoption should not have been an option for you.
Sorry to be so blunt, but this happens far too often and then the animals get accused for what I feel is human error.
In the end, animals can be trained and the dog in question, the dingo itself, can in fact be trained, but it needs to be trained well.
Any of you dear Australian readers have any dingoes and want to speak of how sweet they can actually be?