Be dingo-safe on Fraser as holiday crowds set to flock
DINGOES are not domesticated animals and families camping on Fraser Island (K'gari) these holidays should stay dingo-safe especially if camping with children.
That is the safety message from Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch who said summer coincides with dingo pups learning survival skills.
Ms Enoch said this can lead to young dingoes displaying behaviour, which can be mistaken as playing, as they test their place in their pack.
"Occasionally this dominance-testing is directed towards people, leading to high-risk situation. This is why it is important to keep your distance, don't attempt to feed or engage with the dingoes.
It's estimated between 100-200 dingoes roam K'gari's 166,000 hectares with numbers increasing after breeding, and then declining due to natural attrition.
Butchulla Land and Sea Ranger Conway Burns said the Wongari (dingos) on K'gari have been a companion to the Butchulla People for thousands of years.
"Visitors need to stay a safe distance from the Wongari and to remember that it is the animal's country that they are visiting,” he said.
During holiday periods, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers increase patrols to spread the dingo-safety messages.
"Rangers speak to campers and day visitors, tour operators, resort management and staff about reducing the risk of negative interactions between dingoes and people,” Ms Enoch said.
"We strongly recommend that families with young children camp or stay in a fenced area
"The island now has 24 areas enclosed by dingo fences. They include major camping areas, some hikers' camps, towns, resorts, waste transfer stations and some picnic areas.”
FRASER Island dingo safety tips:
Never feed dingoes
Always stay within arm's reach of children and small teenagers
Walk and sit in groups
Do not run or jog - you could trigger a negative dingo interaction
Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat moored near the shore)
Never store food or food containers in tents
Secure all rubbish, fish and bait
When visiting lakeshores, do not take food or drinks, except water
If you feel threatened by a dingo, remain calm and confident. Dominance testing is very unlikely to escalate if people stay calm
Stand up to your full height, face the dingo, and keep your arms close to your body
While facing the dingo, calmly back away to a safe area, preferably a vehicle or fenced area
If you are with others, stand back to back, and confidently call for help. Do not run or wave your arms
Go to dingo.ranger@des. qld.gov.au or phone 41279150 for advice.