A pack of dingoes living in and around Orchid Beach have been influenced by people who were feeding and interacting with them.

That was the frustration expressed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife ranger Linda Behrendorff, who said the latest attack on Fraser Island, in which a two-year-old boy was bitten on the neck, head and body, showed what happened when dingoes became habituated.

In the lead up to the attack, observations had been made that the dingoes at Orchid Beach were larger than they should be for their age, with many being juveniles.

She said it was not helpful to feed the animals, which only encouraged them to come into the township, where they did not belong.

Ms Behrendorff said she did not want to blame the parents, who were staying at a holiday home with their five children at Eliza Ave at Orchid Beach when the attack happened.

In the early hours of the morning, the toddler wandered off from the home while his parents were sleeping.

"The last thing I want to do is victimise the parents," she said.

The toddler was attacked by a dingo on Fraser Island.
The toddler was attacked by a dingo on Fraser Island. RACQ Lifeflight

"They have not deliberately left their child unsupervised, I really feel for the parents."

He was found by neighbours about 300 metres away, Ms Behrendorff said, after they were alerted to the attack by the commotion.

She said the parents had told rangers they had been diligent about locking the doors before they slept, but the child had found a way out.

"They had every reason to believe the house was secure," she said.

Ms Behrendorff said it was fortunate the child had not suffered even worse injuries in the attack and that the neighbours had intervened.

"He is a very lucky little boy," she said.

In the wake of the fires, dingoes had come into their own, attacking wildlife that fled from the fire and finding meals in animals that hadn't survived the blaze, Ms Behrendorff said.

They had also fed on turtles, which were nesting on the island.

There was no reason to believe the dingoes were going hungry, she said.

"Dingoes are the last animals to really suffer from fire," she said.

The ranger-in-charge said there was no reason for people to approach or feed the animals.

"We know inappropriate actions are happening," she said.

A young, mature female dingo on 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island.
A young, mature female dingo on 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island. Rowan Schindler

"I'm frustrated with people who continue to think they need to feed them and deliberate actions that cause this - there's no reason for this."

If people wanted a selfie with an animal, they should go to a zoo, Ms Behrendorff said.

She said the irresponsible behaviour could cost the life of not only a dingo, "but an innocent person - a child".

Originally published as 'Habituated pack': Why attack risk was high in holiday town



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