Two videos of an interaction between a dominance-testing wongari (dingo) and tourists on K’gari (Fraser Island) have shown the correct way people should react to prevent an escalation in behaviour.
The videos taken near Happy Valley show a solitary dingo trotting along the beach before directly approaching the tourists.
Ranger in Charge Linda Behrendorff said the tourists immediately stood together and backed away.
“Importantly, the tourists had read the wongari safety information before arriving on the island, and this is vital for all visitors to do,’ Ms Behrendorff said.
“The wongari is a juvenile male and it approached the tourists with its tail raised, which can be a trait of their dominance testing behaviours.
“It then closed the distance and vocalised before lowering its body and baring its teeth. It appeared to yawn but it was showing the tourists its teeth and appeared to close the gap on the tourists.
“This is a Code D interaction, and because the tourists had read the wongari safety information, they knew to make no sudden movements or run.
“The wongari continued to follow them as they backed away which is stalking behaviour. When they arrived at their campsite, they got into their car and the wongari moved on.”
Ms Behrendorff said the wongari is untagged and in good condition, and the tourists weren’t carrying any food, and they didn’t offer any food.
“From the video it is difficult to determine if the wongari has previously been fed, but it clearly had no fear of people,” she said.
“Rangers have identified the wongari to determine future management options such as tagging, education, temporary camp closures and to provide advice to other visitors and campers in the area to be careful.
“I’d like to commend the tourists for the way they handled the situation. They didn’t panic, they stuck together and remained calm.