Dangerous human interaction on K'gari

Issued: 10 Aug 2023

Rangers have been left dismayed following another dangerous, unprovoked interaction between a man and a wongari (dingo) on K’gari.

Senior Ranger Linda Behrendorff said the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) recently received a video showing the man holding out a water bottle to a wongari near Waddy Point beach.

“After the recent incidents on K’gari, it is disappointing that anyone would choose to deliberately interact with a wongari,” Ms Behrendorff said.

“Following those incidents between people and wongari, rangers have increased our patrols and our camping area education.

“And despite our efforts and the publicity surrounding those recent incidents, people are still engaging with wongari on K’gari.

“This man has ignored the safety messaging he would have seen on the barge over to the island, and all the signage on the island advising people to keep their distance.

“People must understand that just one interaction like this can set wongari on the path to becoming habituated, and ignoring this means ignoring the consequences for human safety and for the wongari.

“Deliberate interactions like this are extremely frustrating, because rangers have to manage people and wongari on K’gari.

“The focus of rangers should be on managing the wongari on the island, rather than visitors who should be able to manage themselves and Be Dingo-safe! to reduce the risks of negative interactions.

“It is poor people behaviour that causes many of the negative interactions on the island.”

Ms Behrendorff said the man appeared to be a part of a large group of people, and he wasn’t aware he was being filmed.

“He only stopped interacting with the wongari when his mates called out, warning that he was being filmed, but they should’ve been yelling at him to stop his foolish behaviour,” she said.

“When rangers arrived on scene, the group of people were gone, and they were unable to identify him from the video.

“The man is liable to receive a $2,474 on the spot fine, and if anyone has any information as to his identity or this incident, they can call 4127 9150.”

People on the island must follow Be Dingo-safe! messaging to reduce the risk of a negative interaction.

Visitors to K’gari (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
  • Always walk with a stick
  • Camp in fenced areas where possible
  • Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction
  • Never feed or encourage 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 K'gari (Fraser Island) dingoes.

View video in the media centre.