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Aussie woman slammed for flouting rules at tourist hotspot

The woman posted photos with dingoes on K'gari following a string of recent attacks.

A Gold Coast influencer has been heavily criticised for patting dingoes on K'gari, formally Fraser Island, following a spate of recent attacks officials say are a result of tourists flouting rules

A social media post shared by Zara Mander on Thursday shows the woman kneeling down to touch the animal despite repeated warnings from frustrated officials who are fed up with people "still engaging with wongari [dingoes]".

Three dingoes in the area have now been euthanised — the most recent, a juvenile, was euthanised just this week — due to ongoing high-risk behaviour from visitors which has been labelled "irresponsible" and "dangerous"

Aussie influencer, Zara Mander, interacting with dingoes at K'gari
Aussie influencer Zara Mander posted photos of her interacting with dingoes at K'gari. Source: Instagram via Courier Mail

Backlash after posting dingo picture online

Zara, who appears to have deleted the post, shared a series of photos on Instagram, one of which appears to show her interacting with a dingo.

According to The Courier Mail, Zara's post wasn't well received by social media users, with one person commenting, "I will be reporting you," and another saying, "Stay off the island d**khead. People like you are ruining it for everyone else."

Rules repeatedly ignored on K'gari

There have been several reports recently of tourists ignoring warnings and interacting with dingoes on K'gari. Last week, a 58-year-old Queensland man was filmed trying to feed two dingoes and was later fined over $2000. And last month, another man was seen trying to entice a dingo with a water bottle.

Tourist interactions with dingos K'gari Fraser Island
Tourist interactions with dingos on K'gari (Fraser Island). Source: QPWS

String of attacks caused by human interactions

Attacks have increased in the last two years, largely due to the animals becoming less fearful around humans.

"People must understand that just one interaction can set wongari on the path to becoming habituated, and ignoring this means ignoring the consequences for human safety and for the wongari," Senior Ranger Linda Behrendorff said in August.

In June, a boy who was camping on the west coast of K'gari was attacked and dragged under water by a dingo. And, in July, a woman in her 20s was attacked by a pack of dingoes while on a jog on the island.

The rules people keep ignoring

Refraining from interacting with, and feeding dingoes is an important rule but isn't the only one given to tourists visiting K'gari.

Warning signs plastered all over the island advise people to walk in groups, keep children close, never run, secure rubbish, and never store food in tents.

Breaking he rules threatens the safety of other visitors and the dingoes on the island, Humane Society International’s Evan Quatermain previously told Yahoo. "The actions of a few ruin it for the many," he said.

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