Rangers are fuming after a tourist was filmed trying to entice a dingo with a water bottle in yet another “dangerous, unprovoked interaction” on popular Fraser Island, otherwise known as K’gari.
The footage, which was recently received by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), shows the man — who now faces a $2,474 fine — crouching down on the sand while holding out a water bottle to a wongari (dingo) near Waddy Point. The animal slowly approaches the man before darting backwards. The tourist then retreats back to his friends who are standing near a group of parked 4WDs.
Senior Ranger Linda Behrendorff said the incident occurred at the beach over the weekend and that it was “disappointing that anyone would choose to deliberately interact with a wongari” following a spate of recent attacks on the island.
“Following those incidents between people and wongari, rangers have increased our patrols and our camping area education,” she added. “And despite our efforts and the publicity surrounding those recent incidents, people are still engaging with wongari on K’gari.”
Ms Behrendorff said the man ignored safety messaging “he would have seen on the barge over to the island”. He was not aware he was being filmed by a passerby until his mates called out, alerting him to the camera. “They should’ve been yelling at him to stop his foolish behaviour,” she said.
When rangers arrived on scene, the group of people were gone, and they were unable to identify him from the video.
“People must understand that just one interaction like this can set wongari on the path to becoming habituated, and ignoring this means ignoring the consequences for human safety and for the wongari,” Ms Behrendorff said.
If anyone has any information as to his identity or the incident, they are urged to call 4127 9150.
Two women attacked by dingo
On Thursday, the QPWS revealed it was investigating two incidents during which two collared dingoes approached and circled a group of seven adults at Eli Creek.
At around 11.45am one of the wongari lunged at a woman and bit her on the thigh. One of the other tourists was able to scare it away by throwing a stick, but just five minutes later a dingo approached another woman from behind. When she turned and saw the animal, she fell over and was also bitten on the leg.
QPWS rangers provided assistance and offered medical treatment, which was declined.
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