Keeping K'gari's Dingoes (Wongari) People-Safe! | FINIA

Dingo attack is on the increase as Dingos use humans as prey. The recent clashes between humans and native Dingoes on K’gari (Fraser Island) have highlighted how extremely terrifying it is to be attacked by wildlife. 

Dingo bites tourist on beach in Australia

Dingoes have attacked tourists, joggers and fishermen forcing authorities to close campsites on Fraser Island and euthanise ‘high risk’ Dingoes responsible for any incidents.

The bottom line is dingoes are wild animals are unpredictable and can sometimes act as predators towards us, especially the smallest humans.

K'gari island reports two more dingo attacks | SBS News

1. Why have Dingos started to attack humans?

Dingos are generally non-aggressive species and often will run away if they sense people approaching. 

Hawks Nest dingo feeding concerns persist, months after five killed for  aggressive behaviour - ABC News

Alarmingly, Dingos are territorial and if they start to see humans as competitors, they will want to protect their food sources. This makes Dingos unsafe due to their territorial and prey instincts.

Heightened dingo activity on K'gari - Zinc 96.1 FM

Perhaps in most cases where humans have been attacked the dingoes have become accustomed to humans and have possibly lost some fear of them.

Dingoes may have started to see human food sources, like waste food in rubbish bags and leftovers as part of their territory. This is making them defensive and if people approach, they may attack.

Being Dingo-safe means NEVER FEED Dingoes! But recent attacks have frustrated Aboriginal rangers as tourists have not been following this safety advice! 

2. Can Dingoes attacked humans in packs?

Brave dad rescues baby son, 1, from jaws of hungry wild dog - Daily Star

Dingoes usually search for food alone or sometimes in pairs. Occasionally they hunt in packs. 

K'gari (Fraser Island) dingo killed after attack on Sarah Peet | — Australia's leading news site

In July a woman was attacked while jogging by a pack of 3 or 4 Dingoes on Queensland K’gari (Fraser Island). The animals chased her into the water before being rescues were able to get her into a vehicle and get her away from the Dingoes. The 24-year-old woman was taken to hospital with numerous bites.

Wildlife authorities have now killed the leader of the pack of dingoes responsible for mauling the jogger. This incident has sparked warnings from officials for visitors to the island not to go out alone. 

If any animal is hungry it is going to be aggressive. and even attack in a pack.

Dingo attacks K'gari: Fisherman fends off dingoes as K'gari ...

3. Do Dingoes see children as prey?

A sign that outlines the danger from dingoes and shows steps people can take to exercise caution

Dingoes are opportunistic carnivores and are a broad diet predator. Recent attacks on children have led to experts warning that young children could become prey. A study of Dingo attacks on K’gari found that most of the attacks on children were from younger Dingoes. The children they attacked were always some distance from the adults.

In 2001 a 9-year-old boy was tragically killed by two dingoes on K’gari when he was some distance from the rest of the family. 

Last year Dingos attacked a child while she was sitting in shallow water at a beach on K’gari (Fraser Island).  

Fraser Island dingo attack: Girl, 6, flown to hospital after being bitten |  Kidspot

In 2022 a 5-year-old boy was badly bitten by Dingoes when his elder brother walked away from him. This year a 6-year-old girl was mauled and bitten and even dragged under water before family members could save her.

In all cases even though there were other people nearby, the Dingoes selected the smallest and most separated person.  As a child is not much bigger than normal Dingo prey (such as wallabies) this suggests that a predatory hunting response was triggered. The Dingoes involved were generally young and exploratory, but any wild animal can be unpredictable.

Two-year-old attacked by dingo on Fraser Island

The bottom line is dingoes are wild animals and can sometimes act as predators towards us, especially the smallest humans.

4. Have Dingoes ever taken a baby?


Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain (11 June 1980 – 17 August 1980)

In 1980 a 9-week-old Australian baby girl was killed by a Dingo when her family were on a camping trip near Australia’s famous Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in the Northern Territory. The family claimed the baby girl was taken from their tent by a Dingo. Her body was never found.


Initially her mother Ms Chamberlain was convicted for murdering her baby daughter who she always claimed was taken by a dingo with her crying “A Dingo ate my baby”. She spent 3 years in jail and was only pardoned when newly discovered evidence came into light. Ms Chamberlain received $1.3 million compensation from the government for wrongful imprisonment.


A cardigan which had the baby girl’s blood on it found buried near a Dingo lair. 


This was proof enough to allow the mother to be released from jail. Eventually in 2012 the authorities finally changed the death certificate to say the baby died because of a Dingo attack.

 In 2019 in the Fraser Island bush, a toddler’s screams woke his sleeping parents as a Dingo snatched him from his bed in their camper van. He was pulled into the bush before he was let go. The little boy suffered multiple puncture wounds to the neck and skull.

5. How can you stay safe from Dingoes?

K'gari (Fraser Island) dingo killed after attack on Sarah Peet | — Australia's leading news site

Dingoes are found right across Australia, but they are less common in pastoral areas where lethal control occurs.

They tend to avoid people wherever they can but Dingoes in tourist areas are bolder. 

If you encounter a Dingo: –

  • Always be on high alert in places where Dingoes are more common and as with any wildlife.
  • Leave them alone and keep a safe distance from them.
  • Avoid being alone, or if in a group do not spread too far out.
  • Stay close to young children in your group.
  • Do not run or turn your back on any Dingo, as this may set off an attack.
Dingo attack: Rangers on alert after boy bitten at Karijini National Park  campground | The West Australian
  • Never feed a Dingo
Be dingo-safe! on K'gari (Fraser Island) | K'gari, Great Sandy National  Park | Parks and forests | Department of Environment and Science, Queensland
  • We also should not leave food around, which could attract attention in the first place.
  • Never store food in tents use lock up food stores and iceboxes.
STAY AWAY: New signage critical to heighten safety message around Tropical  dingoes | NEWSPORT DAILY
  • If you feel threatened, do not be afraid to shout or throw things to prevent an attack.
  • Camp in fenced areas where possible.
Dingo-proof fence network expanded on Fraser Island | The Courier Mail
  • Walk with a stick.

Anything that makes you, or the people with you, seem less like prey – less enticing – is good. Stay safe, but most importantly, respect these animals for the wild creatures they are.

6. What do you do if a Dingo attacks you?

Problem dingo believed responsible for child attacks at Karijini

If you feel threatened by a Dingo, do anything that makes you seem less like prey.

  • Face the Dingo, never turn your back.
  • Stand as tall as you can.
  • Face the Dingo, never turn your back.
  • Fold your arms across the chest and keep eye contact.
  • If in pairs stand back-to-back.
  • Calmly back away,
  • Do not make sudden movements and do not run or wave your arms.
  • Confidently call for help.
  • Defend yourself aggressively as if you are fighting for your life.
  • Strike the Dingo with an object or a stick, backpack, coat. 

If bitten immediately seek medical help and report the incident to a ranger as soon as possible.

7. What is classed as negative threatening behaviour in a Dingo?

When one or more Dingoes come close threaten, then this is known as a negative encounter.

 One or more Dingoes may: –

WATCH: Dingoes tear at tents, stalk tourists in terrifying new era on  K'gari (Fraser Island) | VIDEO | The Courier Mail
  • Tear tents,
It's only a matter of time': dingoes without fear of humans will kill a  child | Daily Mail Online
  • Steal property. 
  • Lunge
  • Chase a person
  • Snarling
  • Nipping or biting
  • Corner or confine or ‘herd’ a person into a lake or the ocean.
Euthanised dingo underscores 'people problem' on K'gari

8. Can you shoot Dingoes in Australia?

How much of a dog is a dingo? New research rekindles identity debate - ABC  News

Whilst Dingoes are not facing imminent extinction their numbers are roughly estimated between 10,000 – 50,000 across Australia 

Even though Dingoes are listed as a threatened species some states have exemptions that permit their killing. In other states Dingoes are not protected labelling them as a pest, or invasive animals.

Australia’s agricultural interests is driving eradication programs to drive out or eliminate this native animal to protect their livestock.

The Victorian government not only permits but encourages dingoes to be killed by poison, trapping, or shooting. They even offer a cash bounty meaning anyone with a gun licence can be financially rewarded for killing them. In other states such as Queensland, the Wildlife services are responsible for carrying out the management of dingoes within protected areas. Outside protected areas a Dingo is not protected wildlife.

Losses of livestock due to Dingo attack are generally confined to properties next to public land. The focus of some management programs is to control Dingoes in a buffer zone between public and private land.

9. Why do they hang Dingoes in trees?

Dead wild dogs are strung from trees — some say it's outdated ...

Stringing up dead Dingoes began as a way for trappers and doggers to prove their work. They used this method to show how many they had killed, then would get the correct pay from the landlord. 

Although it makes farmers look like a bunch of savages Dingo carcasses are hung on tree branches or fence posts as a warning to the rest of the pack. Some farmers have even hung just the scalp from fences as a warning to other dogs.

Western Queensland regional development organisation asking for $7 million  from governments for wild dog cluster fencing - ABC News

It was also a way of communicating to neighbours that there were dogs in the area and that graziers were taking it seriously. The act of killing these wild Dingoes was never meant to be cruel, but it was done as part of a management and way to protect their livestock.

10. What other methods are used to kill Dingoes besides shooting?

Petition · Stop Killing and Mistreating Fraser Island Dingoes ·

To appease the interests of the animal agricultural in some states and territories only permit Dingoes to be killed by poison, or trapping.

Dingoes are considered a pest in much of regional Australia. But what  happens if you let them thrive? - ABC News

One poison commonly used to kill Dingoes is sodium monofluoroacetate, more commonly known as 1080 ‘ten-eighty’. 

Sadly, other wildlife can be killed by this poison and as it causes a painful death. The use of 1080 poison is banned globally except in Australia and New Zealand.  

Dried meat baits: best practices | Agriculture and Food

The poison is used by baiting on the ground as well as dropping the baits of poisoned meat by air.

Iwi against aerial 1080 poison drop question consultation process - NZ  Herald