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A dingo ate my telescope! – Now with a picture!

By Homeless 9 January 2011 53

[First filed: Jan 7, 2011 @ 12:04]

dog clobbering telescope

I occasionally like to escape the madness of the city that is Canberra by heading bush. I have been known to head as far south as the Snowies in summer for a week or so to escape the heat. Mostly though, due to fuel costs I stay nearby.

This week I headed out to Namadgi to rest up. I decided to do a bit of amateur astronomy using my telescope. Now this telescope cost me a pretty penny some years ago, and is one of the most expensive things I own, or it was up until Wednesday night. On Wednesday I wandered into the national park, set up telescope, a rug and sleeping bag then ate a basic cold dinner as I waited for the sun to go down. It wasn’t long after sunset that I first heard some dingos howling in the distance. I didn’t think much of it, as I’ve heard that before.

Less than an hour after sun down, as I was just getting in some observations, I was attacked by a pack of wild dogs. I was very lucky that I heard them coming. One barked probably a couple of seconds before they came in. I was just able to grab my torch and flash it towards them when three dogs rushed at me and started to try nip my legs.

Instinct took over with me trying to kick back at them. I wasn’t about to let a bunch of wild dogs take me down. Thoughts of the pain of being eaten alive pumped the adrenaline into me and I spun around yelling and kicking like mad. But it wasn’t enough. The cunning bastards encircled me and started to bite at my legs. I had on thick trousers, so no damage was done at first. I was very worried about what would happen if they got me on the ground though where they could get at exposed skin.

I looked around for a weapon, spotted my telescope with it’s big tripod legs and grabbed it. For probably a fraction of a second I thought “I can’t use this, I’ll damage it.” Then another of the dogs, a little terrier type thing that honestly looked harmless until it bit me, bit me again. I didn’t need more prompting. In a frenzy of defence I swung my telescope and tripod legs at the three dogs which had been joined by a fourth. I began to realise I was quite literally fighting for my life. I got in some solid hits and kicks and the dogs began to retreat. It seemed like ages, but was probably less than a minute later that they all ran off.

My telescope was, and still is a mess. The barrel has all been squashed in, it is barely recognisable. One of the three tripod legs has been broken off. The mounting arm, a massive bit of metal has broken and it all looks kind of unhappy now. Alas, my poor telescope was destroyed by wild dogs. I admit that it had been taking up too much space in my van, but still, it wasn’t the way I wanted it to go.

This attack took place in Rendezvous valley, probably less than 2 km from the Gudgenby homestead. So folks, be careful of wild dogs in Namadgi. Carry a stout stick with you at all times. Keep an eye on what is following you, as I’ve had wild dogs follow me before. And to the idiots that dump dogs, may they follow you home and eat you for dinner!

Also, does any optical expert want to trade a beaten up telescope for something smaller, like a cheap set of binoculars?

[ED – Any chance of a photo of the telescope?]

UPDATE: Now with a picture of the dog-smiting telescope.

What’s Your opinion?


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53 Responses to
A dingo ate my telescope! – Now with a picture!
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Homeless said :

I’m glad I never did give you my contact details colourful sydney racing identity, you clearly are not out there batting for my side are you?
.

You mean when you were looking for work and I tried to line something up for you? Yes, that was really mean spirited of me.

KB1971 12:32 pm 10 Jan 11

shootthemessenger said :

Taken on Old Boboyan Road, about 6 kms from Yankee Hat car park

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69LRKxO-knc

While I wholeheartedly agree that the wild dog population needs control, this is a reason that the old jaw traps have been outlawed. Eradication should be quick, not a drawn out process such as this.

OzPhoenix said :

TAMS have this to say:
http://tinyurl.com/2cdzu6f

So it seems it’s known they’re in Namadgi, and they’re happy with that. But also offer some advice on what to do to avoid encounters and and what to do in an encounter.

Their first sentence annoys me a bit: “Wild dogs remote from rural settlement serve a necessary role as a top order predator in natural ecosystems. In order to protect livestock, control of wild dogs is undertaken in areas of Namadgi that adjoin rural properties.

Purebred Dingoes definately are part of this food chain, not the mongrel bred things that are out there (such as in the above vid). They should be working to eradicate the cross breed mongrels & re-introducing the Dingo.

Erg0 12:08 pm 10 Jan 11

Someone should send him [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly_Man]Grizzly Man[/url] on DVD…

Wonder if I got that link right?

harley 10:05 am 10 Jan 11

Last week on stateline there was a story about a numpty who goes out to film these dogs. He says he thinks they have accepted him. I don’t know how old the story was or if it was a repeat.

My only thought was “he’s dog food”…

thatsnotme 5:03 pm 09 Jan 11

I don’t believe that the ACT Govt, given their general dislike of guns and shooter and their unholy alliance with the Greens who believe that all shooters are the spawn of satan, would allow such a program to control pigs, dongs, rabbits etc in the ACT.

Jesus, if the Greens are standing up for my right to go bushwalking while keeping my dong in-tact, then they’ve got my vote!

OzPhoenix 3:02 pm 09 Jan 11

TAMS have this to say:
http://tinyurl.com/2cdzu6f

So it seems it’s known they’re in Namadgi, and they’re happy with that. But also offer some advice on what to do to avoid encounters and and what to do in an encounter.

Dave F 2:28 pm 09 Jan 11

> Packs of wild dogs aren’t nothing that a bit of 1080 wouldn’t fix.

There was a Stateline epsiode last year where a reporter spent a day with a ranger in Namadgi. In the story, they showed the ranger laying a 1080 bait for dogs. The story said they lay baits as well as using professionals to trap dogs in areas of the park that are close to farmland. In other parts of the park, the dogs are useful in that they help to keep the numbers of feral animals like rabbits down.

You can watch the story or read the transcript here…

http://www.abc.net.au/news/video/2010/04/30/2887572.htm

DannyMcFace 2:18 pm 09 Jan 11

LSWCHP said :

My apologies for the bum advice.

Haha! No Pun intended right?

kagey 1:20 pm 09 Jan 11

The professional sneerers here should take a trip out to Namadgi, or the Mt Franklin areas. These types of episodes are well known amongst bush walking circles, and is yet one more good reason not to venture into the bush alone.
While I have not experienced a full contact attack, I can vouch for the fact that packs of wild dogs do exist at Namadgi. My wife and I were visiting the rock paintings at Yankee Hat last year, and witnessed a full on pack hunt of kangaroos there. The pack was a mixed bag of about a dozen dogs of all shapes, colours and sizes. Fortunately, they were sufficiently distant to us and preoccupied with their chase to notice us. The incident, which occurred around late morning, did cause us to immediately seek out a couple of good stout sticks. The subsequent fleeting appearance of a doberman sized dog did cause us some misgivings as to the wisdom of continuing our walk. To say we were on high alert for the rest of the walk would be an understatement. Our subsequent report to the rangers did not arouse any great surprise or interest on their part. As I said these sightings are well known, as is the impact of dogs on the native fauna.

LSWCHP 12:21 pm 09 Jan 11

bigfeet said :

LSWCHP said :

akinom said :

In New Zealand, they let hunters loose in their national parks to shoot feral stuff. Can’t see that happening here.

There is a program run by the NSW Game Council (www.gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au) that allows hunters to shoot feral animals in National Parks under the R-class hunting licence. I know several people who do this, and between them they’ve killed dozens of rabbits, foxes, cats and dogs under this program. I’m thinking about having a go at it myself.

The NSW programme is only for State Forests, not National Parks.

Spot on. I actually sprang awake at about 3:15 and thought “Now that was wrong!”. Just not paying attention when I wrote that I guess. My apologies for the bum advice.

bigfeet 11:37 am 09 Jan 11

LSWCHP said :

akinom said :

In New Zealand, they let hunters loose in their national parks to shoot feral stuff. Can’t see that happening here.

There is a program run by the NSW Game Council (www.gamecouncil.nsw.gov.au) that allows hunters to shoot feral animals in National Parks under the R-class hunting licence. I know several people who do this, and between them they’ve killed dozens of rabbits, foxes, cats and dogs under this program. I’m thinking about having a go at it myself.

The NSW programme is only for State Forests, not National Parks.

neanderthalsis 11:08 am 09 Jan 11

akinom said :

I In New Zealand, they let hunters loose in their national parks to shoot feral stuff. Can’t see that happening here.

South Australia has a similar program for feral goat control in a number of national parks. They shut the parks down to the general public and let the hunters loose. There was mass fear and hysteria from the nutters at Gun Control Australia that there would be dead people littering the scrub, all native fauna would be decimated and the vegetation would be ripped up in the hunting frenzy. The South Australian Govt even organises for the army to send along a number of ambulances to cope with the impending tragedy. The RSPCA went along to supervise.

Needless to say, the nutters at GCA were proven wrong, there was no injury to anyone except the goats and the reduction in goat number has led to widespread revegetation and the return of native fauna. It was such a success that it has become a regular event.

I don’t believe that the ACT Govt, given their general dislike of guns and shooter and their unholy alliance with the Greens who believe that all shooters are the spawn of satan, would allow such a program to control pigs, dongs, rabbits etc in the ACT.

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