Seeking a ‘selfie’ with Fraser dingoes part of the problem
Encouraging dingoes to come close for a selfie is just one of the ways tourists are causing the animals to become habituated on Fraser Island.
That is according to a spokeswoman from the Department of Environment and Science, with some day visitors and campers in the Wathumba area also deliberately or inadvertently feeding the dingoes, she said.
It comes after two dingoes attacked a nine year old child at Orchid Beach last week.
The child suffered minor injuries during the attack.
Similar incidents have resulted in dingoes being euthanised on the island in the past, but the spokeswoman said there had been no decision made in regards to the animals involved in the incident.
"Euthanasia is always considered a last resort and decisions to take this course of action are not taken lightly," she said.
"This includes rangers providing education and wongari-safe messaging to residents and visitors, along with fenced campgrounds.
The department recently closed Wathumba campground, Teebing camping area and Wathumba Road until February 28, to allow rangers to monitor the situation due to continued dingo interactions n the island.
Since September 2020, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has temporarily closed a number campgrounds on K'gari due to concerns about dingo and human interactions.
"The department and the traditional custodians of the land and waters, the Butchulla people, are currently reviewing the circumstances of the incident and the management options available under the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy," the spokeswoman said.
"Both wongari involved in the incident have shown signs of habituation due to the actions of people visiting the Wathumba area, and they have been involved in several incidents of threatening behaviour.
"Unfortunately, some day visitors and campers in the Wathumba area have been deliberately or inadvertently feeding the wongari or interacting with them for selfies.
"Some wongari at Wathumba have lost their natural wariness of people and have been loitering around campers and day visitors or seeking food.
"This unfortunately, upsets the balance of the wongari's natural role in the ecosystem, and increases the risk of negative interactions."