High-Risk Dingo Euthanized for Public Safety Amid Controversy in Queensland

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A dingo, classified as “high risk,” was humanely euthanized by Queensland rangers, following a series of disturbing and potentially dangerous behaviours. The Queensland Environment Department confirmed this action, citing the grave threat the K’gari Island dingo posed to public safety.

Since receiving its identifying tag in January this year, the dingo displayed a progressive increase in alarming high-risk behaviors. These included exhibiting signs of aggression such as stalking and lunging, frequently encroaching on human inhabited areas, stealing food and displaying a lack of hesitancy when it came to nipping and biting. One incident involved a particularly violent intrusion in which the dingo bit a woman who had been alone on the beach in late August.

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Despite attempts to curtail the dingo’s behaviour through alternate measures, such as closing camping areas near the dingo’s territory to reduce the risk of escalating habituation, the aggression continued. Reports indicate a pattern of negative interactions towards children, adults, and even rangers, including six high-risk incidents.

Moreover, the authorities are now monitoring another dingo displaying similarly dangerous behaviours. They have emphasized their cautious approach in monitoring this second animal before implementing any further management strategies.

Euthanasia is the final and dreaded choice in handling high-risk dingoes, but the decision was aligned with the Fraser Island Dingo Conservation and Risk Management Strategy.

Yet, this move has been met with criticism from organizations like Save the Fraser Island Dingos (SFID). The group strongly objects to this punishment, asserting that it is in no way a sustainable or acceptable solution. As per its statement, the group particularly mourns the fact that the euthanized dingo was merely a juvenile, now lost before reaching the age of maturity. The group opposes the culling of any healthy animals, noting that three dingoes have been put down in the current year, and there are more potentially at risk of the same fate. While acknowledging the importance of human safety, SFID urges the public also to exercise due care and responsibility.

World Heritage-listed K’gari, formerly recognized as Fraser Island, has unfortunately witnessed a string of dingo-related incidents over the course of the year. A boy of eight was attacked in July, while a 10-year-old child was dragged underwater by a dingo in June. Other incidents plastered across headlines included a young woman who was sent to the hospital after an attack by a pack of dingoes and a six-year-old girl who needed hospital treatment due to a dingo assault in April. The tally of interactions involving high risk or threatening behavior from dingoes has exceeded 100 in 2023 alone.