Family’s terror after dingo attack nightmare
THE parents of a Brisbane boy who was snatched from a camper van by a dingo on Fraser Island have given a harrowing account of the moment their son's blood-curdling screams woke them in the night.
In an interview with 60 Minutes last night, parents Luke and Sarah Allister held back tears as they recalled waking to their 14-month-old son Hunter's screams on April 19.
In a nightmare ordeal reminiscent of Azaria Chamberlain's death in 1980, the family had been staying at Eurong when at least one dingo managed to pop a clip on the side of the camper van and enter.
The animal bit Hunter on the head, neck and shoulder, fracturing his tiny skull in the process.
Despite his family - including his five-year-old sister - sleeping nearby, the dingo then carried Hunter into the darkness.
It was only because Mr Allister rushed to his son's aid that Hunter escaped with his life, paramedics said at the time.
"I just ran and yelled. I was running up to kick the dingo but I didn't have to," Mr Allister said.
"As soon as I got from me to you away, the dingo let go of him and he cowered."
After picking up Hunter's bloody body, Sarah recalled the terrifying few minutes that followed.
"As I was driving and Luke was sitting in the back, holding Hunter, it's probably only 10 minutes but it felt like an hour and I just, I remember his cries just starting to fade and I honestly felt when we got there, that he wouldn't be there," Mrs Allister said.
"To be honest with you that's, looking back on it and at the time.
"I was happy that he was crying because I was so scared and I did not want him to stop crying because if he stopped crying, I'm thinking, well yeah."
Visiting Fraser Island for the first time since the attack, Mrs Allister told 60 Minutes that the family had been looking forward to the holiday for some time, and that the island was still their "favourite place in the world".
"We were just excited, the kids were excited," Mrs Allister said.
The family also defended its decision to camp outside a dingo-proof fenced area, saying they were "experienced campers".
"We went to bed about probably 10.30, secured all our rubbish and moved it away," Mrs Allister said.
"Packed all of our food away and strapped it down. We're pretty experienced campers and we certainly know what precautions to take."
Hunter is expected to make a full recovery.