K’gari wongari lured and let off the hook

Issued: 30 Jan 2021

Visitors and residents on K’gari (Fraser Island) are reminded to keep their fishing tackle boxes closed and be careful while fishing from the island after a wongari (dingo) was snagged by a fishing lure.

A member of the public reported the wongari to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers, who tracked it down with staff members of the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation (BAC) near a campsite at Wathumba Creek.

The wongari, one of a litter of five known juveniles in the area, had two of the four barbed hooks of a metal spinning lure embedded into her bottom lip.

Concerned the wound could become infected, QPWS rangers, with the assistance of the BAC’s Communication and Engagement officer, tranquilised and captured the wongari and assessed her injury.

All hooks were clipped and removed and the wound was flushed with antiseptic liquid. The wongari was released at the site and will be regularly monitored by QPWS staff for any signs of infection.

From January 22 to 24, rangers and BAC staff members saw multiple wongari at various locations including Orchid Beach, Wathumba, Sandy Cape, Waddy Point, Eurong and Lake McKenzie.

The wongari at Wathumba were showing obvious signs of habituation, including approaching people within one metre, resting under vehicles and showing no natural wariness of people.

Residents and visitors to K’gari are reminded never to feed wongari, as this puts people and the wongari in danger.

Anyone who breaks the law by deliberately feeding or interacting with dingoes, or failing to secure their food and rubbish, can expect a fine or to appear in court.

Fishers on K’gari are asked to retrieve fishing equipment where safe and remove bait from hooks when finished fishing.

Report all wildlife entanglements with fishing equipment to rangers by calling 07 4127 9150 or emailing dingo.ranger@des.qld.gov.au as soon as possible.

Please visit the DES Media centre for photos.