Two Australian women have been fined for taking selfies and videos of themselves posing with dingoes on an Australian island, authorities said Friday. The fines follow recent dingo attacks on a 23-year-old jogger and a 6-year-old child.
The two women, aged 29 and 25, were fined about 1,500 U.S. dollars each after authorities were tipped off to their behavior by members of the public, the Queensland Department of Environment and Science said in a news release. One woman reportedly posed with three sleeping dingo pups, behavior that a park official called “irresponsible” and “unbelievable.”
Dingoes, also known as wongari, are common on K’gari Island, formerly known as Fraser Island, and visitors to the area are warned to be cautious of the dogs and to avoid interacting with them. Dingoes are dog-like animals that can be aggressive towards humans.
Interacting with the dingoes, feeding or encouraging them are strongly discouraged on the island. Feeding and interacting with the can lead to habituation, where they “lose their natural wariness of people,” said senior ranger Linda Behrendorff in the news release.
“Residents and visitors to the island cannot treat wongari as cute, hungry or something to play with, because the wongari will start to approach people for food, and that can put wongari and people at risk,” Behrendorff said. “People have to remember that they can cause serious issues for other visitors if they feed or interact with wongari anywhere on the island.”
Recent attacks on the island have highlighted the danger dingoes can pose. A two-year-old dingo, known as “CC Green” according to local media, attacked a six-year-old girl in April 2023, leading to her hospitalization. She was bitten three times on the head, the department said in a news release.
The dingo was collared in April, which meant rangers could track the animal. According to the department, it was “clear from its behavior that it had been habituated, either from being fed or from people interacting with it for videos and selfies.” The animal also weighed about 37 pounds, which was a “clear indictation that it has been found.”
On Monday, CC Green was among several dingoes that attacked a 23-year-old woman jogging on a beach on the island, according to local media. The woman was chased into the ocean and attacked by three dingoes, and rescued by two men who were driving nearby. One of the men was also injured.
The woman sustained “serious injuries to her legs and arms,” the department said in a news release, and was flown to a hospital for treatment.
CC Green was later captured and euthanized, the department said Friday.
“Euthanising a high-risk dingo is always a last resort, and the tough decision by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) was supported by the Island’s traditional owners, the Butchulla people,” the department said.