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Increase in Tracking Measures After Dingo Attacks Child on Fraser Island

Rangers are considering the use of a tracking collar to closely monitor the animal’s movements, among other options.

A dingo that left a girl with significant leg injuries has been identified as rangers consider measures to prevent future attacks on the tourist island of K’gari, formerly known as Fraser Island.

The identity of the sub-adult male dingo was confirmed by Queensland park rangers on Saturday, a day after the primary-school-aged girl was bitten while swimming.

In line with the Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy, rangers and the Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation are considering the use of a tracking collar to closely monitor the animal’s movements, among other options.

The young girl was near adults when the dingo bit her multiple times, leaving her with significant lacerations, paramedics said.

She was transferred from the island to Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

It marked the fifth incident of a dingo biting a child on K’gari since Dec. 10.

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Rangers have rejected calls to cull any of the estimated 200 dingoes on K’gari, blaming visitor behaviour for a spike in incidents.

A 2017 study of attacks on the island showed young dingoes were common perpetrators and children who were many metres from an adult were often the victims.

In the latest case, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) said it had increased patrols in the area “to enhance education to ensure visitors are behaving responsibly.”

“QPWS will consider taking additional steps if the dingo displays further dangerous behavior,” it said.

Senior Ranger Linda Behrendorff acknowledged the girl and her family would be traumatized and called on the public to help keep all park users, including dingoes, safe.

“The best thing parents can do to keep their children safe around dingoes is to keep them within arm’s reach at all times and walk with a long stick,” she said.

The Queensland government invested an additional $2 million this financial year to help boost public safety on K’gari.

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