Dingo safety plan for K’gari holidaymakers

Issued: 23 Mar 2021

New dingo deterrent fences, patrols and a community education push are all part of a safety blitz by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service on K’gari (Fraser Island).

The blitz follows a period of increased aggression by the island’s dingoes which culminated in an eight-year-old boy being bitten on the legs by two of the animals on February 4.

Acting Regional Director Stephen Price said he was thankful the boy only received minor injuries, but it could have easily been worse.

“We have put together a comprehensive plan to actively manage the dingoes in the Wathumba campground area,” Mr Price said.

“We are investing around $60,000 in infrastructure to improve safety including two new fences around the Wathumba Creek camping area and the day use site.

“We will also be installing food safe lockers at Teebing camping area as this is heavily utilised by boat campers.”

Mr Price said the infrastructure upgrades would be complemented by extra patrols by QPWS rangers and extended campground closures.

“The Wathumba Creek campgrounds was closed in response to the attack, but we have decided to extend the closures until July 1,” he said.

“In addition, we have closed Wathumba and Platypus Bay roads and rangers will be conducting patrols of the area including the Bowal, Awinya Creek, Bowarrady Creek, Woralie Creek and Moon Point camping areas.”

Mr Price said the community also needed to step up to ensure their own safety around dingoes.

“We’ve seen some examples of really poor behaviour around dingoes recently – including people deliberately feeding and approaching them,” Mr Price said.

“We need people to understand that feeding dingoes is not only extremely dangerous, but also detrimental to them.

“As they become more and more reliant on visitors for food, the more they will approach people and can become aggressive.

“In the long run this means that we may have to take difficult decisions to appropriately manage the risk posed by an aggressive dingo, and that includes potentially euthanising the animal - something we definitely don’t want to have to do.”

“We urge everyone visiting K’gari to be dingo-safe at all times. By following a few simple tips you can make sure you have a safe and memorable holiday to the island.”

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.

For more information visit About Fraser Island dingoes.