Fraser Island - tagged dingo at Central Station.Photo: Alistair Brightman
Fraser Island - tagged dingo at Central Station.Photo: Alistair Brightman

Heated debate follows decision to euthanise dingo

HEATED debate has ignited following the decision to euthanise a dingo on Fraser Island just days after an attack on a child.

Cheryl Bryant, from Save the Fraser Island Dingoes, said when tourists encouraged interactions with the animals, it was often the dingoes and other people who paid the price.

She said by all accounts the family that was approached by the dingo last Saturday had been doing the right thing.

But Ms Bryant said there were still too many instances when tourists fed dingoes or tried to interact with them.

She said she wished there was a solution other than killing the animals.

"It comes back to the behaviour of the tourists that go to the island and it's because of that we end up with another dead dingo," she said.

"It comes back to people trying to interact and feed the dingoes and incidents of people not following the rules.

"It's very sad and disappointing to hear that we lost another animal."

The Department of Environment and Science said in a statement that any decision to humanely euthanise a high-risk dingo was selective, precise and only considered as a last resort.

"In making this difficult decision, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have considered the views of the island's traditional owners, the Butchulla people, and alternative options to managing this dingo, including the relocation of the animal," the statement read.

"This decision to euthanise the animal is in line with the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy and Implementation Plan and part of the department's commitment to ensuring the safety of everyone who visits the island.

"The dingo's history presents a concerning pattern of negative interactions towards children and it has a record of 12 threatening interactions and five high-risk interactions."

In the incident last Saturday, the dingo bit an eight-year-old boy on the beachfront near Eurong despite him being in the presence of adults.

The boy suffered puncture wounds to both sides of his hand. His family along with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers were able to intervene quickly and chased the animal away.

During the incident the boy's mother, who was walking with her two children, was forced to use a boogie board as a shield to try to fend off the dingo after it emerged from vegetation. They were walking along Seventy-Five Mile Beach about 6pm when the attack ­happened.

Earlier this week, Fraser Island ranger Jenna Tapply said the family was doing everything right when the dingo came over to them.

Rangers nearby noticed the family was being approached by the animal and intervened, along with the children's father, but the boy was nipped by the dingo.

Ms Tapply said paramedics attended and treated the boy at the scene.

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