Environment: The Hated Wild Dog

Dingo is a dirty word in the Australian vocabulary. As an adjective, it connotes extreme cowardice. As a noun, it refers to a species of wild dog, usually yellow and about the size of a German shepherd, whose bite is worse than its bark.* In the 19th century, before any organized attempts to eradicate the dingoes, they killed about 500,000 sheep a year, making them Australia's public enemy No. 1. As late as the 1920s, Anatomist Frederic Wood-Jones expressed the national attitude toward the killers. "To say anything in favor of the hated wild dog is treason in Australia."

Despite that hatred,...

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