FRASER ISLAND: Tourists accused of attacking dingoes
TOURISTS have been accused of attacking dingoes on Fraser Island in the wake of an incident in which French visitors, including a child, were bitten by the animals last week.
Cheryl Bryant from the Save the Fraser Island Dingoes organisation said the group had heard reports of two separate incidents.
One involved a woman who got out of her car to approach a dingo and chased it with an umbrella.
"The dingo was minding its own business, not harassing anybody," Ms Bryant said.
The second incident involved a man who also left his vehicle and started hitting a dingo around its legs.
When he was told to stop he refused, Ms Bryant said.
Two dingoes were euthanised on the island last week after the incident in which a nine-year-old boy and his mother were injured.
One of the animals was named Green Tag, Ms Bryant said.
She said the dingoes based at the den near Eurong were regularly coming into contact with people and that was why they were becoming habituated.
"It's been really devastating.
"We've lost two animals now.
"That family group has been destroyed."
Ms Bryant said she understood why the State Government had needed to take action due to the seriousness of the incident.
But she was still saddened by the death of the dingoes.
"They were young and vibrant juveniles and now they are gone," she said.
Ms Bryant said the blame game wasn't working when it came to the death of dingoes on the island and her group was committed to working with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to find a solution.
In total, 122 dingoes have been euthanised on Fraser island since 2001 for various reasons, including threats to public safety, illness or injuries from pack fighting or vehicle strike.
The majority of the deaths happened in 2001 when 32 habituated dingoes were euthanised.
Nine dingoes have been euthanised in the past five years.
About 60per cent of known-age dingoes euthanised were younger than 18months, and 64per cent of known-gender dingoes euthanised were male.
A spokesman from the Department of Environment and Science said people were encouraged to remain vigilant and report any negative dingo encounters to a QPWS ranger, phone (07)41279150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
He said visitors to the island were reminded to stay close to children and young teenagers, always walk in groups and camp in a fenced area when possible.
The spokesman said running or jogging was a negative trigger for dingoes and should be avoided.
Securing food was also vital.
The spokesman said dingoes were not to be fed and food stores and iceboxes, when not on a boat, needed to be locked up.
He said food should not be stored in tents and all rubbish, fish and bait should be secured to keep the dingoes away from camp sites.