RARE and dramatic footage of a dingo attacking a swamp wallaby in the surf on Fraser Island has been captured by a ranger-guide hosting a tour.
Fraser Explorer Tours ranger-guide Hayden Webber was taking tourists on a Cool Dingo bus tour last week when he shot the amazing video of the dingo capturing and killing the wallaby in small waves near the shore at Seventy-Five Mile Beach.
“It’s just nature folks,” he told the tour group as they watched the wallaby struggle and try to jump away from the dingo.
“I know it’s not very nice to see folks but that is just life, it’s just nature.”
Warning: some readers may find the video distressing.
Hayden and his bus load of 33 international passengers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom were on the second day of their Cool Dingo tour and were driving just north of The Pinnacles coloured sands about 9.30am on Thursday when Hayden noticed the wallaby in the water.
“I said to my passengers: ‘hey there’s a wallaby in the water’… and they all grabbed their cameras and, as you can imagine, there was lots of excited chatter in the bus,” he said.
“I knew when we stopped, that it was unusual to see the wallaby on the eastern beach – they’re normally found in the swamps on the western side of the island – let alone in the water, so I immediately started scanning the dunes for dingoes… and sure enough an old experienced male came bounding out of the dunes… so I leapt for my camera and let it roll
“Whilst initially there were gasps from some of the girls in the group about watching this scene unfold, I explained that it may not be all that nice to watch, but that it was just nature in action.
“When we talked about it later that day, everyone said they were glad they had seen the dingo doing what nature intended.
“It’s actually not unheard of to hear about this sort of hunting behaviour – where dingoes shepherd their prey to the water’s edge to make it easier to catch.
“Our fraternity of Fraser Island Tours guides can recall one instance from a long time ago where a similar thing happened – but it is certainly unusual to occur in front of a bus load of passengers.
“Add to this the fact that I’ve been guiding on Fraser Island for a little over six years and have only seen four wallabies in that time – and you’ll start to appreciate how rare and exciting this was for me.
“I have never seen this before and I never expect to see it again.”
Head ranger Colin Anderson said all Fraser Explorer Tour guides conducted talks on dingoes and dingo behaviour and on the animals of Fraser – including swamp wallabies – so it was fascinating for international guests and friends on social media sites to see normal hunting behaviour in action.
Fraser Explorer Tours was named a Finalist in last Friday’s Queensland Tourism Awards and conducts one and two-day accommodated tours from Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach.
WATCH VIDEO HERE FROM THE CHRONICLE PAPER
Guides also work for the Cool Dingo Tours, aimed at 18 to 35 year olds, from Kingfisher Bay Resort.