Dingo involved in K’gari attack captured and euthanised

Brisbane woman mauled by four dingoes on K'gari

One of at least three dingoes involved in an attack on a 23-year-old woman on K’gari has been captured and humanely euthanised.

Rangers captured the animal on Wednesday afternoon.

A Queensland Department of Environment and Science spokesman said the dingo was involved in other recent threatening and biting incidents, including one with a six-year-old girl.

The animal was about two years old.

Taking the “significant step” to euthanise was a decision for K’gari’s rangers and traditional owners as they investigated Monday’s incident involving a pack of dingoes and a woman jogging on the beach.

At least three of the animals chased the woman into the water at Orchid Beach before two men in a four-wheel-drive rushed to her aid.

She was taken to hospital with numerous bites.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and rangers are attempting to identify the other dingoes involved.

“Should the other animals be identified, we will consider our management options,” the department spokesman said.

The euthanised dingo had been wearing a tracking collar since April, which had allowed Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers to track it and its behaviour, as well as monitor human behaviour around it.

When the animal was collared, it weighed more than 17 kilograms, which is heavy for a dingo and a clear indication it had been fed.

The spokesman said it was also clear from its behaviour it had become habituated and had lost its natural wariness, either by being fed or from people interacting with it for videos and selfies.

Queensland Environment Minister Leanne Linard acknowledged the difficulty of deciding the future of problem dingoes on K’gari after she arrived on the island on Wednesday.

Euthanising an animal was considered an option of last resort, with the decision made by rangers in consultation with traditional owners, the Butchulla people.

“That would have been a tremendously traumatic experience for that young woman and we all hope that she makes a full recovery,” Ms Linard said on K’gari on Wednesday.

“Decisions in regard to the future of any particular individual dingo … are made by the people they should be made by, and that’s our rangers in conjunction with the traditional owners here on the island.

“It’s not something that I involve myself in, but I deeply respect that it is a real balancing act and a difficult one.”

Files are kept on animals that display concerning behaviour as part of detailed incident reporting, the minister said.

A dingo was humanly euthanised in June after a string of incidents earlier this year including biting a seven-year-old boy and a 42-year-old woman on separate occasions.

“Euthanising a high-risk dingo is a last resort, but this decision is in line with the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy and part of [Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s] commitment to ensuring the safety of everyone who visits or lives on the island,” the environment department said at the time.

The management of dingoes on the island, communication with visitors and whether anything needs to be done differently were due to be discussed on Wednesday.

While most people did the right thing, there had been examples on social media of people trying to interact with or even pat the animals, Ms Linard said.

“We still have a job to do I think for that small number of people who aren’t aware or aren’t heeding those messages,” she said.

“We need to keep people safe on this beautiful island, and we need to respect that dingoes are on this island and it’s their home as well.

“I think that important balance is best served by education.”


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