'Major risk time' for Fraser Island dingoes over Christmas
SAVE Fraser Island Dingoes has issued a stern warning to holidaymakers this Christmas period.
The group has expressed concern for the welfare of the dingo population over the holidays, claiming "hordes of holiday makers" will put the animal "under siege."
The warning for dingo safety comes after a female dingo with pups was put down on November 26 after reports revealed the animal was being fed and petted by visitors.
Publicity officer for Save Fraser Island Dingoes Cheryl Bryant said it was inevitable that they would get a higher number of interactions between people and dingoes over the Christmas holidays.
"With the people over there for Christmas, there's definitely a concern that another animal will be destroyed," she said.
"There are so many reports of people trying to feed and pet dingoes over this time...(so) educating visitors on reporting the animal and not approaching them is a priority."
Ms Bryant said it related to people visiting the island and not knowing how to behave when around a dingo.
"We don't know the exact reason for more encounters...(but) we need more research on their behaviours...rather than destroying them," she said.
"We can't keep destroying the animals, it's a vicious circle. Pups will become conditioned to humans from no parental guidance, so they will source the easiest food, and that will be from campers.
"The cycle starts again; it's not just affecting one dingo, it's affecting many."
Ms Bryant encouraged visitors to respect dingoes' territory and avoid all contact with them.
DINGO SAFETY TIPS:
Don't encourage or feed animals.
Don't harass the animals.
Respect their territory and observe from a distance.
If anyone witnesses an attempt to harm or interfere with an animal, such as a deliberate vehicle strike, it is important that it is reported -the authorities can't act if people don't come forward.
If fortunate to sight an animal, be mindful of your actions and don't be responsible for a dingo death.