MONDAY 16 MAY PUNGALINA
Our day off. After the last couple of days, we were not inclined for great expeditions, so just relaxed around our camp – after going up to the house to water the gardens, of course.
Noticed a couple of wild dingoes hanging about in the bush, not far from the house, but “ours” were all at the house, just sleeping around in shady spots in the yard. Maybe this was the aftermath of the girls’ escapade?
O treats his dings pretty well, we think, striking a good balance between them being pets but still able to live in the wild way, doing normal ding things. He killed a cow – a rough scrubber – every so often, to get meat for them. An old freezer in his house contained great chunks of ding meat! He left them free, most of the time, to roam and do those normal ding things. Apparently, they ranged many kms on some nights. Certainly, some days, they came and went several times between the house and camp – about 5kms each way. Now that we were fixtures, we got regular visits at our camp.
If O had to tie them up – like when there were guests at the safari camp – he would make up for the inactivity by later driving them out a fair way and leaving them to run home.
When he was away and there was no one else there, he would leave out a big bag of dried dog food and they could help themselves to that, if their hunting was unsuccessful, or they just felt lazy.
Sometimes, we would be working around the safari camp, then see the really tall grass across the other side of our creek, waving about and would hear rustling noises. It was the dings hunting over there. Occasionally, one would jump up high and look around. It was quite comical to watch.
Dingoes are fearsome chewers. There was no upholstery left intact in any of the “farm” vehicles. They had been known to chew up the phone/fax lines in the office, so had been banned from there. I had been warned to make sure they could never get at the pillows in the safari camp tents! One did not leave footwear outside, either.
O believed that allowing a feral dingo population on Pungalina kept down the numbers of feral pigs and cats. We did not see a cat at all, in our time there. It was rare to see any feral pigs, and there were certainly no signs of same within at least 15 kms of the house. This was a great contrast with the Adels Grove/Lawn Hill area where pigs were a significant problem and where we had never seen a dingo.