Tourist wakes to find 'curious' dingoes camped outside his tent on K'gari

The traveller spent the weekend at the holiday hotspot, formerly known as Fraser Island, where two women were bitten by dingoes on Saturday.

As authorities warn tourists to practice extra care on K'gari after two women were bitten by dingoes on Saturday, a holidaymaker has revealed his surprise at waking to find a pack of four outside his tent over the weekend.

Just two months into 2024, there's so far been a total of nine dingo bites at the popular tourist hotspot, formerly known as Fraser Island, with Queensland authorities pleading with the public to take care should they come across the wild animals.

Tourists warned to be dingo aware on K'gari

Both women bitten last weekend are believed to have sustained only minor injuries, with an 18-year-old having been bitten on the back of the leg while on a walking track before another woman was later nipped along the beachfront.

Authorities said the incidents serve as a timely reminder for people to be aware of their surroundings, particularly during dingo breeding season.

Sydney man Laine Cameron was visiting K'gari over the weekend with his partner when he woke to find a "curious" bunch of dingoes sitting right at the doorstep of his tent.

Dingoes on K'gari at the weekend right outside a tent.
Sydney traveller Laine Cameron woke up on K'gari at the weekend to find a pack of dingoes outside his tent. Source: Supplied

'Curious' dingoes eat Sydney man's 'good thongs'

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Cameron said while he wasn't particularly concerned by the animals' presence, he was "pissed off" he didn't come across them sooner, unable to save "my good pair of thongs" from being torn apart.

"Nah, [those ones] weren't very scary," Cameron said. "I was more pissed off that one of them chewed my good thongs up. We just got up and kicked a bit of sand at them to get them away — that’s what the rangers tell you to do."

Cameron theorised that the pack may have potentially been drawn to the area to feed on a humpback whale carcass that had washed ashore.

The dingoes lying between a man's car and his tent on K'gari. Source: Supplied
Laine Cameron said the dingoes 'weren't aggressive', but they did eat through his good pair of thongs. Source: Supplied

"They are just curious, looking for food," he said. "You have to just make sure you don’t leave any food or rubbish out otherwise they’ll just snatch it and run.

"They’ll even eat your tomato sauce or thongs if you leave them out, but they weren't aggressive towards us — we could hear them playing outside our tent during the night."

With "dingoes on K'gari roaming all over the island", wildlife authorities have warned that although bites are rare relative to the number of tourists on the island, they can still occur.

Pictured left is the carcass of a humpback whale on K'gari, while, right, a vehicle passes a dingo on the beach.
The carcass of a humpback whale on the beach, above left, may have attracted the animals to the campsite. Source: Supplied

What to do if a dingo approaches

"Generally dingoes go about their lives and stay clear of people. Unhabituated dingoes have a natural fear of people and shy away," Queensland's Parks and Forests Department wrote online. "From time to time, dingoes may come close and some encounters can turn to tragedy. Stay alert and stay calm.

"Stand still at your full height and fold your arms across your chest, face the dingo, then calmly back away. If you are with another person, stand back to back."

Just before Christmas last year, a five-year-old girl was bitten by a dingo on K'gari, sustaining lacerations and bruising, while a seven-year-old boy was "lunged at" by an animal that "ran at speed" and "attempted to bite" the child, but did not make contact.

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