Be dingo-safe - always

Issued: 6 Apr 2023

Visitors and residents to K’gari (Fraser Island) are urged to be dingo-safe at all times after a serious incident involving a six-year-old girl and a wongari (dingo).

The girl was flown to hospital on 3 April 2023 for treatment to three puncture wounds to her head after being bitten by a wongari at Waddy Point.

She is the second person to be bitten by a wongari on the island in 2023, and rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) are warning against complacency.

QPWS rangers are closely monitoring the wongari at Waddy Point and across the island.

Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation Community Rangers are also assisting QPWS with compliance and education across the island, including the Waddy Point area.

Rangers are continuing to investigate the incident and attempting to identify the responsible animal, which will assist in determining management options within the scope of the Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy.

With thousands of people holidaying on K’gari during the school holidays, parents and carers are reminded to keep children close at all times.

Wongari are a natural and important part of the ecosystems and culture on K’gari. It is important to remember the wongari are wild animals and they are unpredictable.

Between 2018 and 2023, there has been 33 incidents where a wongri has nipped, mouthed or bitten a person on K’gari.

Number of wongari/human incidents resulting in nipping, mouthing or biting
Year Code E
2023 2
2022 3
2021 7
2020 1
2019 10
2018 10

Although there has been a recent reduction in the number of instances where a wongari has nipped, mouthed or bitten a person, the risk remains present.

People are reminded never to feed or interact with wongari. They will chew through anything when looking for food, and people must store their food and rubbish safely and securely.

To help reduce wongari/human interactions, and to prevent wongari from associating people with food, QPWS rangers have a zero tolerance for those who ignore the rules.

People who feed or interact with wongari can expect a $2,300 Penalty Infringement Notice, with a maximum court-imposed penalty of $11,500.

Since 2018, rangers have issued 248 PINs to people who have broken the rules on K’gari. This includes disturbing or interfering with wongari, deliberate feeding, food availability or taking domestic animals onto the island.

Anyone with information about wongari incidents or alleged unlawful behaviour is encouraged to contact a QPWS ranger by calling 07 4127 9150.

People are encouraged to be dingo safe and report any negative dingo encounters to a QPWS ranger or to phone 07 4127 9150 or email as soon as possible.

Visitors to Fraser Island are reminded to be dingo safe at all times:

  • 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 go to Fraser Island dingoes.