Fraser Island tourists brag about getting close to dingoes following attack on toddler

As Queensland officials urgently assess the management of Fraser Island’s dingo population after a spate of attacks this year, brave Instagrammers continue to get up close and personal with the island’s wild dogs.

Pictures posted on social media since a toddler was attacked last Thursday show Instagram users continuing to getting close to dingoes.

The posts continue despite warnings from rangers and locals to keep a safe distance.

Aboriginal elders from the area have said the current system is not working, and the tens of thousands of tourists who frequent the island wilderness need to be held “accountable” for their actions.

“We would like to remind people that our traditional homeland is a pristine wilderness, which has dangerous animals that could harm your loved ones,” the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation said in a statement to The Courier Mail.

“It is time that people are more accountable for the ­actions — Wongaris (dingoes) should not be sacrificed for human error or inciting interaction.”

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Fraser island holiday ? Got up close and personal with 2 wild dingoes and I couldn’t be happier ?

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#dingo #fraserisland #kgari #queensland #camping #4×4

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Locals have criticised tourists for getting too close to the native dogs.Source:Instagram

Attracting the attention of a dingo is a criminal offence in Queensland and carries penalties. People who feed or attract the attention of dingoes in recreational areas can be fined or prosecuted.

Judging by Instagram, tourists on Fraser Island seem unaware of the dangers posed by the native dogs and have relished the chance to get close to the animals.

A 14-month-old toddler was attacked by dingoes last Thursday when two dogs crept inside a camper trailer while the family slept in a remote part of the island.

One of the dingoes bit the small boy by the neck and dragged him into the bush by his head before his father woke to his screams.

The little boy is recovering after two rounds of surgery at the Queensland Children’s Hospital for wounds to his head and neck, including a fractured skull.

The frightening incident was the third dingo attack this year.

Rangers have been patrolling Fraser Island to raise awareness about dingo safety since Thursday night’s incident, reminding adults to never leave their children unattended and to stay within arm’s reach of kids and teenagers while on the island.

Visitors on Fraser Island are also advised to always walk in groups, camp in fenced areas, not feed the dingoes and never leave out rubbish, fish or fishing bait as it attracts the wild dogs.

Locals have criticised Instagrammers for getting up close with the wild species.Source:Instagram

A review of the way the island’s dingo population is managed and how officials prevent dangerous interaction between the animals and people will also be carried out urgently.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch announced the measures on Sunday, saying the review will also explore ways to improve the State Government’s partnership with the Butchulla people, the traditional owners of Fraser Island.

The review will determine what else needs to be done to improve the safety of the 400,000 visitors to the island, known as K’gari, every year.

“Management of dingoes on K’gari is complex, and the Government is committed to supporting a sustainable and healthy dingo population while minimising the risks to human safety and dingo welfare,” Ms Enoch said on Sunday.

— with AAP

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