Animal Diaries Archive
28 March 2008Christmas has come and gone and now chocolate season is upon us once more! Or should I say, “no chocolate allowed!” season for the dingoes, who just like domestic dogs would get awfully sick if they tucked into our Easter goodies! Fortunately, there’s plenty more for a dingo to do at Easter time than fret about their keepers eating (far too much) forbidden chocolate.
Here at the Zoo we sure love to celebrate... and do we mean celebrate! Our Easter fun days this year were jam packed with all sorts of entertainment like visiting llamas and ponies (certainly something to catch the eye and interest of any dingo), fluffy dressed up Easter-bunnies dropping eggs around for visiting children (the dingoes were much more interested in the bunny than the eggs), live music and all sorts of other excitement.
But dingoes also have another tie-in with Easter, at least here in the wide brown land of Australia. The bilby, one of our highly endangered and incredibly beautiful native animals, has been adopted by some as an Aussie symbol of Easter, rather than the rabbit which is introduced. Chocolate bilbies can be seen alongside the chocolate bunnies in our supermarkets, with some companies actually giving percentages to help conserve the bilby in the wild. And where do our dingoes come into it? Well, dingoes are actually a protector of the bilby in the wild, believe it or not!
It has been concluded that in some areas where bilby populations were suffering, they actually benefited from having a stable pack of dingoes living in the same area... because dingoes will actively defend their territory against feral cats and foxes. These predators are far more likely to consider a bilby as an item on the dinner menu and are much more destructive to our native wildlife. So this Easter time, spare a thought not only for our Aussie Easter symbol, the beautiful bilby, and their gorgeous golden protectors... the dingoes!