National

Qld dingo warning: don’t feed the dogs

By AAP Newswire

Visitors to a popular Queensland island have been urged not to feed dingoes - no matter how hungry they look.

Campers have been urged to keep sites clean, lock up food, camp in fenced areas and avoid running because it can "trigger a negative dingo interaction" on Fraser Island, some 250km north of Brisbane.

The warnings come after one of the wild dogs fractured a toddler's skull after he was dragged from a camp bed in April.

Following the attack, which the child survived, the state government doubled maximum fines for feeding or disturbing the animals to $10,444.

The government says it is working to keep the World Heritage listed island safe for visitors while managing healthy dingo populations.

Queensland Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch says camp sites on the island are almost at capacity ahead of the school holidays and rangers would be enforcing the rules around the dingoes.

"People need to understand that these beautiful dingoes are wild animals, they are not starving," Ms Enoch said in a statement using the island's alternative name K'gari.

"A habituated dingo becomes a risk to visitors and to themselves.

"September is a time where young dingoes are learning survival skills, which means they may display behaviour which can be mistaken as playing, as they test their place in their pack," she said.

Butchulla Ranger, Conway Burns, says in spring female dingoes teach their pups to hunt and the packs could be defensive so people needed to keep away from the animals.