Rangers on K’gari are again asking people to be wary of dingoes on the island.
They are particularly appealing to parents to keep a close watch on their children, when visiting the island during the school holidays, to reduce the risk of dingo attacks.
The warning comes as Queensland Parks and Wildlife rangers are closely monitoring a dingo that grabbed a 10-year-old boy by the shoulder and dragged him under water in front of a camping area on the west coast of the island a week ago.
Just over a month ago a French tourist was bitten on the backside by a dingo.
Earlier this month a dingo responsible for a string of high risk incidents on K’gari was humanely euthanised.
It bit a 7 year old boy on June 1 and a 42 year old woman on June 4.
Speaking about the most recent attack, Assistant Principal Ranger, Danielle Mansfield, said the boy was walking alone at the waters edge when the incident occurred on June 16.
“The boy’s 12-year-old-sister who was nearby reacted quickly and ran to assist him,” Ms Mansfield said.
“The family treated the boy for puncture wounds to his shoulder and arms and scratches and bruises on his collar bone and arm.
“Thankfully he sustained no serious injuries, and when the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service offered medical assistance, the family declined,” she said.
Rangers identified the tagged dingo and it was later seen loitering near the camping area, where it was digging up food scraps that had been buried in the sand.
The dingo chased the animal away from the camping area and patrols have been increased in the area to monitor the animal’s behaviour.
Ms Mansfield said the dingo is part of a group that have been deliberately or inadvertently fed which is why they’re showing no fear of people.
“These animals are capable of inflicting serious harm, and they have bitten children and adults, and some are quite brazen are not fleeing when yelled at or when someone brandishes a stick.
“We have had instances where commercial operators have come to the aid of people who are being stalked or snarled at.
“We are providing dingo-safe messaging to parents and carers each day, and there are too many instances where children are not being appropriately supervised.
“On K’gari, this means children and teenagers must be within arm’s reach of an adult at all times, even if you can’t see any dingoes in the area.”
Ms Mansfield said visitors and residents to the island must remain vigilant at all times, and cannot leave children and teenagers unsupervised.
She said people who think it is harmless to throw a sausage or discarded bait or fish frame to the dingoes have caused the current and historic problems we are having with these dingoes.
“This has to stop now, and people have to make their personal safety and the safety of their friends and families a priority,” Ms Mansfiled said.
Here are some tips to be dingo safe:
Always stay close (within arm’s reach) of children and young teenagers
Always walk in groups
Camp in fenced areas where possible
Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction
Never feed dingoes
Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat)
Never store food or food containers in tents, and
Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.