Why scientist was brutally attacked by dingo

TWO women bitten in a savage dingo attack blame out-of-control bushfires for starving wildlife and destroying cyclone-flattened rainforest on remote Cape York.

Environmental scientist Lucy Friend, of Cairns, suffered deep puncture wounds from bites to her leg, hip and arm at Iron Range research station, near Lockhart River airstrip.

The 28-year-old volunteer firefighter told how the attack lasted ten minutes as the starving wild dog tried to drag her to the ground before it turned on her rescuer.

"It kept biting me higher and higher,'' Ms Friend, who was cooking in the station kitchen when she was attacked, told The Courier-Mail.

"It was trying to take me down.

"It bit my leg, then hip, then latched onto my arm and wouldn't let go,

"It was obviously desperate. It was very skinny and looked like it was starving from hunger."

She said the dingo was behaving "very uncharacteristically" and turned on her rescuer Gabriella Davidson, latching onto her knee, before they finally bashed it off with a shovel and chased it into the forest in the Sunday attack.

 

 

A bite mark left on Lucy Friend's arm. Picture: Lucy Friend.
A bite mark left on Lucy Friend's arm. Picture: Lucy Friend.

 

"It just kept coming back, and coming back. It was really savage, and clearly driven by hunger to desperation,'' Ms Friend, an experienced wild animal researcher, said.

"There is just no food in the forest, everything is broken and burning.''

Iron Range National Park on Cape York, home to endemic wildlife like the Palm Cockatoo, green python, cassowaries and tree kangaroos, was flatted by a cyclone earlier this year and a raging bushfire has since burnt out at least 1000 hectares of rainforest over two weeks.

Research station manager Ms Davidson suffered puncture wounds to her knee while Ms Friend flew herself to Cairns where she was hospitalised for four days and treated against the risk of infection.

 

 

 

 

Lucy Friend, one of two women bitten in a savage dingo attack, while fighting bushfires at Iron Range on Cape York. Picture: Supplied
Lucy Friend, one of two women bitten in a savage dingo attack, while fighting bushfires at Iron Range on Cape York. Picture: Supplied

"It's been a fairly exhausting month," the scientist said.

"It (the dingo attack) is worrying, dingoes are typically solitary and it is a sign of the stress many animals in the forest are under.

"It's behaviour was bizarre, this was a wild native animal, not a town dog, it just continued to come back and attack.

"I hope we can bring this fire that is ravaging the rainforest under control to give all these creatures a fighting chance.

"My only request is dingoes stay out of my kitchen.''



Rural students hit hard by drought as school tanks run dry

premium_icon Rural students hit hard by drought as school tanks run dry

Charity worker reveals how country schools need help

Council drives Warwick tourism into the future

premium_icon Council drives Warwick tourism into the future

New hot-spot causing sparks in Southern Downs

GETTING OUT: What's happening around Warwick this weekend

premium_icon GETTING OUT: What's happening around Warwick this weekend

Wardrobe sale, high tea and more to keep you entertained