Fraser Island dingo safety warning for tourists
FRASER Island holidaymakers are being warned not to cosy up to wild dingoes if they want to avoid being bitten or attacked.
These holidays are one of the busiest times for visitors on Fraser, also known by its indigenous name K'gari. It's also a period of high activity for the local dingo population.
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said dingoes could be unpredictable at this time of year and urged visitors and residents to act dingo-safe at all times.
"Summer coincides with dingo pups learning survival skills, so these young dingoes might show dominance-testing,” Ms Enoch said.
"This behaviour can be mistaken for playing, but it's actually about testing their place in the dingo pack.
"Sometimes this dominance-testing is directed toward people, and this can be a high-risk situation with an estimated 100-200 dingoes roaming K'gari's 166,000 hectares.
"That's why it's strongly recommended that families with young children camp or stay in a fenced area while on the island.”
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Principal Ranger Ross Belcher said that during holiday periods, rangers increased patrols
to spread dingo-safe messages.
"QPWS rangers speak to campers, day tourists, resort management and staff about reducing the risk of negative interactions between dingoes and people,” Mr Belcher said.
"The island has 24 dingo fences, at major camping areas, some hikers' camps, towns, resorts, waste transfer stations, and some picnic areas.
"These have been fitted in the best interests of both people and animals.”
Some dingo-safe 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.
If you feel threatened by a dingo, remain calm and confident.
- 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.