News

Anger over dingo deaths

A dingo keeps a lookout on Fraser Island.
A dingo keeps a lookout on Fraser Island. Sherylea Jones

A DINGO conservationist fears for the future of dingoes on Fraser Island after three of the animals were humanely destroyed by rangers following an attack on a man at Happy Valley earlier this week.

Hervey Bay chef Dane Allan was attacked while walking on the beach alone at night.

Ray Revill, curator at the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary, said the deaths of the three dingoes signalled a depletion of the already vulnerable dingo population on the island.

Mr Revill also questioned how the dingoes were identified for destruction because the attack had happened at night.

A spokesman for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service said the dingoes had been destroyed in the "interest of public safety" after the "savage and unprovoked attack on Fraser Island this week".

The spokesman said care had been taken to correctly identify the three animals involved in the incident.

"The three dingoes were closely monitored and tracked by rangers to confirm identities following the incident near Happy Valley on Monday night where a 25-year-old man was left with deep cuts and bite marks on most of his body, including his legs, neck, arms and torso," the spokesman said.

Mr Allan was able to go behind a dingo-proof fence and call for help before being taken from the island by paramedics and Volunteer Marine Rescue.

"Visitor safety is our highest priority and euthanasia using approved humane techniques was the only reasonable course of action as these dingoes posed an unacceptable risk to human safety, with evidence they had become increasingly unwary of, and aggressive towards humans," the spokesman said.

But Mr Revill said dingoes were not the issue.

Instead he said those who did not follow advice before heading to Fraser Island, including staying in groups and not walking alone, were to blame for incidents, which inevitably led to the deaths of dingoes.

"We've got to get people to listen, to take notice."

Mr Revill said he tried to play a part in dingo education, as did the State Government, with plenty of guidelines provided to keep tourists and visitors to the island "dingo-safe".

This week it has also been claimed that people were feeding dingoes to interact with them.

The QPWS spokesman said harsh penalties applied to those who fed the animals.

"Feeding dingoes is illegal as it makes them associate people with food, leading to aggressive encounters, and can ultimately end in the destruction of the dingo," the spokesman said.

"QPWS has a no tolerance approach to feeding these wild animals and will pursue any reports of deliberate feeding vigorously, with court penalties of up to $4554."

The spokesman encouraged anyone who had a negative interaction with a dingo to alert authorities by calling 13 74 68.

DINGO-SAFE

  • Keep children close and stay in a group - don't walk alone
  • Don't feed dingoes
  • Keep campsites clean and secure food, bait and rubbish
  • Whenever possible camp in a dingo-fenced area and never approach a dingo or encourage interaction

Topics:  dinghies, dingo attack, editors picks, fraser island



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