Despite dingo attack, ‘tourists are the problem’
YET another dingo attack on a boy on Fraser Island (K’gari) comes as the lobby group set up to protect these wild dogs warns they are about to be under siege by tourists.
A school-aged child was bitten on Eastern Beach at 6pm on Saturday with paramedics treating him for minor injuries to his hand. He was not taken to hospital.
In April a dingo dragged a 14-month-old boy from his family’s camper trailer by his head, leaving him with a fractured skull and puncture wounds. A French woman and her nine-year-old son were also mauled after they got out of their car and were set upon by a pack.
But Cheryl Bryant of Save Fraser Island Dingoes said it is these four-legged, wild island inhabitants that need protecting.
“As Christmas approaches our concerns are again focused on the welfare of the wildlife,” Ms Bryant said.
“The dingoes will again be under siege by the arrival of hordes of holiday makers. This is a time when juveniles are learning survival skills and encounters with people are likely.
“We ask that visitors take time to read and understand the dingo safety rules and if fortunate to sight an animal be mindful of your actions, it could mean the difference between a positive and rewarding encounter as apposed to a negative interaction,” she said.
She said Saturday’s attack was unfortunate and “one that could no doubt be avoided”.
“It is recommended that children under 14 camp within fenced areas.”
Her other tips:
Don’t encourage or feed animals.
Don’t harass the animals.
Respect their territory and observe from a distance.
Always keep children within arms length.
“If anyone witnesses an attempt to harm or interfere with an animal, such as a deliberate vehicle strike, it is important that it is reported, the authorities can’t act if people don’t come forward,” she said.
Ms Bryant said witnesses should speak directly with a ranger if possible or email email@example.com.
“Fines have substantially increased to a maximum of $10,676 and minimum on-the-spot fine of $2135 and surveillance camera’s are now located at hot spots around the island,” she said.
“Protecting and respecting the wildlife and environment is the responsibility of all who visit K’gari.”