Queensland rangers warn visitors about dingo safety after young girl attacked

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Authorities are investigating after a young girl was attacked by a dingo known to have a history of “threatening behaviour” at a popular holiday destination.

Fraser Coast Ranger in Charge Linda Behrendorff said the nine-year-old girl was attacked while in the water at Yidney beachfront on K’gari, formally known as Fraser Island, about 4.30pm on Wednesday.

She was taken to hospital in a stable condition on the mainland.

Dr Behrendorff said the girl’s parents were with her at the water’s edge had turned their back for “two seconds” when the animal “took the opportunity” to bite the girl.

“The child fell into the water and it took the opportunity to approach at speed and bite the child,” Dr Behrendorff said.

“It’s unlucky timing especially in that heightened dingo season.”

Dr Behrendorff said the dingo was known to rangers and had been microchipped after it had been involved in previous “threatening behaviour”.

“From here we’ll have discussions with collaborative managers and upper managers about where the next step is to from here,” she said.

“That could be anywhere from keeping an eye on the animal to putting a collar on the animal to assess it’s movements and people’s movements around it to help us mitigate that risk with more patrolling or education around that particular individual.

“(It travels from) Waddy Point to south K’gari so it could be anywhere at anytime so it helps us know where he is, where he’s going and helps our ranges monitor his movements.”

Dr Behrendorff said there’s been 11 “high risk” incident reports, including Wednesday’s attack, since January 1 this year.

“Realistically it’s higher than what we’d like it,” she said.

“High risk interactions (are) where people either get bitten or attacked or hospitalised

“In this particular time of year and in this system it’s the high risk dingo breeding season.

“It’s especially for younger males which are trying to identify themselves, establish a territory, are lot more assert in their behaviour and take a lot more opportunities as they arise and that’s what’s happened in this case.”

Dr Behrendorff urged visitors and campers to remain “dingo safe” when on the island.

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