UPDATE: 6yo bitten by dingo on Fraser taken to hospital
UPDATE: A SIX-year-old boy has been released from hospital after he suffered severe lacerations to his buttocks on Monday.
The dingo's teeth penetrated 5cm into the boy's buttocks during the incident at Waddy Point. The boy was on school holidays at the time.
The injury was described to be "severe" by a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson, with the boy needing to be transported to Hervey Bay Hospital from the island.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers are investigating the incident.
The young child's close encounter wasn't a once off occurrence, as QPWS has recorded 52 threatening and 13 high-risk interactions with dingoes so far this year.
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Action being taken to prevent further accidents
Over on the island, QPWS said rangers are working hard to ensure visitors and residents remain dingo safe, particularly during this busy period.
The dingo incident happened despite an increase in the amount of rangers patrolling campground specifically for the school holidays.
QPWS has also enhanced its dingo safety precautions by fencing national park camping areas and increasing signage.
In a statement, QPWS reminded the public that although Fraser Island is famed for these animals, the public must be aware that dingoes need to be treated as wild and predatory animals.
"Dingoes may be determined and aggressive in their search for food, and females will aggressively defend their young, particularly now, as it's their whelping season," a QPWS spokesperson said.
"During whelping season, there may be an increase in people's interaction with dingoes, as pups venture out of their dens and explore their surroundings, and adult dingoes teach natural hunting and survival skills to their young.
"Feeding dingoes places the person in danger, it perpetuates the problem by making dingoes associate people with food, and it is bad for the animals' overall health."
Feeding or making food available to dingoes on Fraser Island is illegal and fines apply, with court imposed penalties up to $4840.
Steps people should take to prevent incidents with dingoes:
- Do not run. Running or jogging can trigger a negative dingo interaction
- Always stay close (within arm's reach) of children and young teenagers
- Always walk in groups
- Camp in fenced areas where possible
- Never feed dingoes
- Lock up food stores and iceboxes (even on a boat)
- Never store food or food containers in tents
- Secure all rubbish, fish and bait.
To report a dingo incident, telephone (07) 4127 9150 or email email@example.com.
Helpful information includes the location of the incident, dingo ear-tag colour, number and which ear.
Further information on being dingo-safe on Fraser Island is available at www.npsr.qld.gov.au.
Conservation group Save Island Dingoes was one of many to have their say.
Spokeswoman Cheryl Bryant said the peak holiday season was bound to result in encounters between wildlife and tourists on the island.
"The influx of thousands of tourists during these peak periods clearly disturbs the wildlife and damages the environment," she said.
EARLIER: A SIX-year old child was severely bitten by a dingo on his buttocks, on Fraser Island today.
The dingo's teeth penetrated 5cm into the boy's buttocks, at about 2.25pm today near Waddy Point.
Fraser Island paramedics attended at the scene, and the boy was then transported to a doctor on the island for further assessment and treatment.
A QAS spokesperson described his injury as a significant laceration.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has been made aware of the incident, and will undergo an investigation.