Novel solutions to dingo attack risk
DINGO experts believe repellent - similar to bear spray - could prevent future attacks by rogue packs of native wild dogs on Fraser Island.
Shock collars, electric fencing, sturdy umbrellas and water pistols filled with lemon or onion juice are other options for a trial of non-lethal controls.
However some of the nation's top dingo researchers have also suggested fines for bite victims and people who feed dingoes.
"If you get bitten, then it's your fault, and you should be fined,'' Central Queensland University expert Brad Smith said yesterday.
"We need to stop culling 'problem' dingoes, place the burden of responsibility on the human, and respect dingoes."
Park rangers have shot and killed two dingoes, but ruled out a widespread cull after savage attacks on three victims in just over a month at the Eurong camp site.
World Heritage-listed Fraser Island is home to about 150 of Australia's purest breed of native wild dogs.
About 700,000 visitors a year go to experience the forests, lakes, beaches - and see a dingo in the wild.
"The dingo is a wild canid, a predator,'' Dr Smith said.
"It is not a dog, and should not be treated as such."
Dingo experts believe most of the eight attacks - one fatal - on the island over the past 20 years were because the victims were running but there are numerous accounts of pack of wild dogs stalking fishers and campers.
Pilot studies on non-lethal controls of dingoes on Fraser Island suggest further trials of electric fences at popular beach camping areas.
Dingo researcher Rob Appleby said options for personal protection include "mild chemical irritant sprays" and "sturdy umbrellas".
He said shock collars placed on rogue dingoes for "remedial aversive conditioning" might also work.
Two French tourists, a mother and her 10-year-old son, are still in hospital in a stable condition after they were mauled by a pack of dingoes last Thursday.
The incident came a month after Michael Schipanski, 6, was attacked by four dingoes on a family camping trip on Fraser Island.
Tourism operators on Fraser Island believe a solution may be to provide more fenced-off camping grounds with toilet amenities along the popular eastern beachfront.