A Queensland man has been fined $2300 for feeding a dingo, following a tip-off from a member of the public.
The 23-year-old was snapped feeding the animal on K'gari (formerly Fraser Island) in April, leading to an investigation by the state’s environment department (DES).
Feeding dingoes, known on the island as wongari, can lead to them aggressively approaching visitors for food.
Thanking witnesses for alerting rangers to the incident, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) compliance manager Mike Devery said this can put both wongari and humans “at risk”.
“The member of the public was able to take photos of the man as he fed the wongari, and they provided them to rangers,” he said.
“Following a review of the witness statements and photographs, QPWS compliance officers interviewed the man and he admitted feeding the dingo.
“The man told compliance officers that he threw biscuits in the sand to the wongari when he was cleaning out his vehicle.”
Tourists urged to respect K'gari's dingoes
Despite facing penalties of $11,500 April's incident was the second time a man has been fined for feeding a wongari at K’gari’s Hook Point this year.
In March, a tourist was seen feeding a pup and later fined $2205. He was caught after a member of the public jotted down his registration number and contacted authorities.
K’gari attracts 400,000 visitors a year and is popular with four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, but it is also home to large patches of unspoilt bushland which is teaming with wildlife.
In May, tourists were accused by QPWS of being responsible for a “major breach of quarantine” when they brought a pet cat onto the island.
It led to Mr Devery issuing a warning that cats can carry diseases that can affect wongari.
The island's population are believed to be the purest in Australia, and unlike in other parts of the country they are protected.
Anyone who witnesses a "concerning dingo encounter" is urged to call authorities on 07 4127 9150.
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