When Ingrid Marker built a house from scratch in Far North Queensland in 1991, she never expected to find cassowaries on her property.
She ended up living alongside a family of seven of the large, flightless birds for over two decades. Mission Beach locals called her the "cassowary lady".
But all that changed a few years ago when roaming dogs drove her out.
The experience left her homeless and traumatised, and now she is working to raise awareness of the issue of roaming, domesticated dogs in the region.
Welcome to cassowary country
Ms Marker and her sons grew up with the many cassowaries that passed through their Mission Beach property for 24 years — through birthdays, skinned knees and even two tropical cyclones.
"When nothing else was around, there was no birds, there was no sounds of frogs, no sounds at all, except for the buzzing of angry insects... in walked the cassowaries out of this disaster zone," she says.
But where cyclones failed to wipe out the cassowaries, another introduced animal succeeded in 2015.
One night, Ms Marker was getting ready for bed when she heard dogs running into her property and cassowaries in distress.
Desperate to save the birds, she called for help — but the local council and animal management services weren't available.
The dogs kept coming back, and eventually the cassowary family disappeared.
"Nobody has seen them again and it's been two years now, as if they were alive, they should've come home," she says.
A woman hounded
With the cassowaries gone, roaming dogs continued to visit Ms Marker's property, coming into her home through open windows, even ripping open flyscreens.
While the Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing installed motion-sensor cameras and provided large traps, the dogs proved to be an ongoing issue.
By then, her sons had moved out of home and Ms Marker began to feel unsafe on her own.
She struggled with anxiety, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and developed pneumonia.
"I wasn't coping. Every time it became dark, I was scared, and I had a feeling [that] every time it became dark it was like there was wolves outside," she says.
Unemployed and traumatised, Ms Marker left her Mission Beach house to preserve her mental and physical health. She began living out of her car and travelling around Queensland.
Dogs issue to 'grow exponentially'
In her travels, Ms Marker found other people who had been victim to dog attacks — like Marcelle McKenna from Far North Queensland Wildlife Rescue, who has been caring for wildlife for over 18 years.
"There have been many incidents where people's dogs have come and killed all the wildlife carers' wallabies, all the joeys in the pen," she says.
"We've lost carers because of the trauma of dealing with severely injured animals."
Mrs McKenna believes the recent spate of dog attacks may be partly attributed to the influx of tradesmen following Cyclone Yasi in 2006.
Uncontrolled pet dogs are part of the wild dog problem in Queensland; there are also pig dogs used to hunt feral pigs on banana farms, as well as dog-dingo hybrids.
It's impossible to calculate how many dogs are out there, as there are problems with registering and tracking numbers.
But Mrs McKenna believes the population is growing quickly, with potentially devastating effects on wildlife, humans and agriculture — and Ms Marker agrees.
Recently, Queensland sheep and wool producers requested an additional $10 million of funding for wild dog exclusion fences.
Dogs remain a divisive issue in many communities throughout FNQ. While the future of cassowaries and the wet tropics
hangs in the balance, Ms Marker pushes on.
She is advocating amendments to animal control laws in Queensland, working closely with the Environmental Defenders Office of Northern Queensland.
More recently, she began working at a hospital for orphaned and injured cassowaries.
Ms Marker gets called in whenever there's a dog attack to help the injured birds, secure dogs and document attacks.
Ms Marker is also working through some of her post-traumatic stress and fear of dogs by getting acquainted with dingoes at Eagle's Nest Wildlife Hospital, which cares for orphaned dingoes.
While dingoes differ from dogs in many ways, spending time with them has helped her be around dogs again.
"I think what helped me with the grief of losing the birds was actually finding hope and feeling I was doing something positive," she says.