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May 1, 2017

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Sleeping Aussie teen gets a dingo surprise

SYDNEY--An Australian teenager told Wednesday of her sleeping bag being torn off by a dingo as she slept at a campsite, weeks after a landmark ruling that a baby was snatched in 1980 by one of the wild dogs.

Rebecca Robinson, 13, was sleeping on a mattress under a caravan awning at the Aurora Kakadu Lodge, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the northern city of Darwin, on Sunday when she was woken by a dragging sensation.

"I could feel someone pulling me, I was not going anywhere but I could feel the sleeping bag getting dragged," she told the Northern Territory News.

"I woke up and there was a dingo there chewing at my sleeping bag."

Robinson's mother said the teenager shouted at the animal and it ran off, adding that she had been told it was the fourth such event at the lodge this year — an unusual spate of incidents.

It comes after a coroner ruled last month that baby Azaria Chamberlain had been taken from a tent at Uluru, or Ayers Rock, 32 years ago, exonerating her mother Lindy, who spent three years in jail convicted of her murder.

Chamberlain was released in 1986 when some of her daughter's clothing was recovered by chance near a dingo lair, and she fought for decades to clear her name in a sensational case which spawned a Meryl Streep film.

A fourth inquest, which considered fresh information about dingo attacks, finally found that 9-week-old Azaria had been dragged from her tent by one of the wild dogs.

"No longer will Australia be able to say dingoes are not dangerous and only attack when provoked," Chamberlain said after the coroner's ruling. "We live in a beautiful country, but it is dangerous."

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