Holiday warning – Keep loved ones close on K’gari
Issued: 21 Jun 2023
Rangers on K’gari (Fraser Island) are closely monitoring a wongari (dingo) responsible for a recent incident where a 10-year-old boy was grabbed on the shoulder and dragged under water in front of a camping area on the west coast of the island.
Assistant Principal Ranger Danielle Mansfield said the boy was walking alone at the waters edge when the incident occurred on 16 June, 2023.
“The boy’s 12-year-old-sister who was nearby reacted quickly and ran to assist him,” Ms Mansfield said.
“The family treated the boy for puncture wounds to his shoulder and arms and scratches and bruises on his collar bone and arm.
“Thankfully he sustained no serious injuries, and when the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service offered medical assistance, the family declined.
“Rangers identified the tagged wongari, and it was later seen loitering near the camping area, where it was digging up food scraps that had been buried in the sand.
“Rangers chased the animal away from the camping area and we have increased patrols in the region to monitor the wongari’s behaviour and pass on dingo-safe messaging to campers and visitors.”
Ms Mansfield said the wongari was highly habituated and was not showing any wariness of people.
“Rangers believe this animal is one of a number of wongari that have been deliberately or inadvertently fed which is why they’re showing no fear of people,” she said.
“These animals are capable of inflicting serious harm, and they have bitten children and adults, and some are quite brazen are not fleeing when yelled at or when someone brandishes a stick.
“We have had instances where commercial operators have come to the aid of people who are being stalked or snarled at.
“We are providing dingo-safe messaging to parents and carers each day, and there are too many instances where children are not being appropriately supervised.
“On K’gari, this means children and teenagers must be within arm’s reach of an adult at all times, even if you can’t see any dingoes in the area.”
Ms Mansfield said visitors and residents to the island must remain vigilant at all times, and cannot leave children and teenagers unsupervised.
“People think it won’t happen to them, but it can happen to anyone and that’s why rangers are providing dingo-safe information to as many people as possible,” she said.
“We don’t want any incidents on K’gari, and people must understand that dingoes are wild animals and should never be fed or interacted with.
“People who think it is harmless to throw a sausage or discarded bait or fish frame to the dingoes have caused the current and historic problems we are having with these dingoes.
“Rangers have observed them lingering around camping areas and parked vehicles, and that means they’re trying to solicit food from visitors because they’ve previously been fed.
“This has to stop now, and people have to make their personal safety and the safety of their friends and families a priority.”