Book Review: Rowena Lennox’s Dingo Bold – The life and death of K’gari dingoes

Dingo BoldDingo Bold by Rowena Lennox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is a tragic circumstance, I think, the dingoes of K’gari (formerly named Fraser Island). Dingoes are wild animals, in a country that is no longer wild. How do they co-exist and live in places with human encroachment and activity? Add to this, as I learned from reading this fascinating and well-researched exploration of the world of dingoes, that dingoes have, at times, lived in closer contact with Aboriginal people, not quite pets or companions, but living in a form of harmony.

And so, a long and complex history of dingoes that are killed if they act in a certain way, and told through the story of one dingo, named Bold by the author, that represents the broader dingo population. The book weaves research and analysis with investigative journalism and interviews with some interesting folks who all have their own relationship with and thoughts on dingoes, and there are some deeply personal moments of memoir and reflection.

The dingo may loom large in the Australian imagination, but I’m not sure how many people know much about the dingoes of K’gari, which draw tourists from all over to see them, but knowing little about them. Dingo Bold makes an important contribution to our understanding and raises challenging, pertinent, contemporary questions: how do we live with nature? How do we live in nature? It’s also beautifully written.

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