We know that dingoes eat figs to supplement their diet. But what happens when they have a belly-full of fermenting fruit? Can they over-imbibe and become inebriated like the parrots? It seems they can. They might stagger around a bit, but at least they don’t fall out of trees!
Exhibit one juvenile male dingo who found his way past the dingo fence into Eurong and apparently had a “big night” out on the fig juice. No one saw him partaking of the fermenting fruit, but early the next morning he was found “flaked out” on the edge of Anderson Street in the residential valley.
It looked at first that he might have been dead because his breathing was very shallow and difficult to detect from a distance. Eventually, his tail flicked and we were able to confirm that he lived. QPWS was notified and a neighbour and I mounted a vigil to ensure that the dingo was not disturbed by vehicles or people until a dingo ranger could attend.
When he awoke, he lifted his head and with some apparent difficulty, staggered to his feet. He didn’t look well. His next activity could crudely be called a “dingo’s breakfast” except that instead of urinating, he defecated and the scat was huge and full of fig seeds. He then wandered on to our property and ate a few more fig berries. (Some “hair of the dog”? or hair of the dingo?)
The dingo then wandered around until he found a shady spot to rest until the park’s ranger arrived.
He avoided capture and spent the best part of the day, wandering, resting and visiting the fruiting fig trees in the valley. Eventually, he was taken into custody, removed from inside the fence and the tempting fig berries, tagged and released none the worse for his misadventure.
Article contributed by David Anderson, Fraser Island Association