Less than a week after a woman was mauled by a pack of dingoes while jogging in Queensland’s K’gari (formerly known as Fraser Island), two women have been reprimanded for talking selfies with the wild animals on the same island.
As reported by news.com.au, the women taking photos with the dingoes, known locally as wongari, have copped two separate fines after they posted their encounters on social media.
The 29-year-old from New South Wales and the 25-year-old from Queensland received fines of $2,300 each from QLD’s Department of Environment and science (DES).
Wongari roam freely on the island and a Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) official told news.com.au that it was an “extremely dangerous decision” to be interacting with them.
“The NSW woman has recklessly chosen to approach very closely to three sleeping wongari pups,” QPWS compliance manager Mike Devery said.
“She was lucky the mother of the pups wasn’t nearby,” he continued.
“Both women have made an extremely dangerous decision to interact with wongari and that’s why they have been fined.”
Wongari can become aggressive around humans because of an expectation they will get food or in an aim to prove their dominance. They can also lose trepidation around humans because of interaction from visitors, whether by being fed or for videos and photos.
On Monday, 23-year-old Sarah Peet was going for a run on a K’gari beach when a pack of four dingoes began to chase after her. She was taken to hospital after suffering multiple bite wounds and is believed to need ongoing treatment for her injuries, as per Courier Mail.
DES confirmed that the leader of that dingo pack was later euthanised and had also been involved in recent biting incidents that led to the hospitalisation of a six-year-old girl.
“It was also clear from its behaviour that it had become habituated, either by being fed or from people interacting with it for videos and selfies,” DES said.
“Our number one priority is to keep people on K’gari safe and conserve the population of wongari (dingoes), and those who blatantly ignore the rules for social media attention can expect a fine or a court appearance,” Devery told CNN.
A tourist has previously copped heat for taking a video with a dingo earlier this year.