'terrifying' | 

Dingo mauls boy (5) playing on beach in Queensland, Australia

The boy was bitten on his arm, head and buttocks on Sunday afternoon.

Alisha Rahaman SarkarLondon Independent

A five-year-old boy is in hospital with multiple injuries after being mauled by a dingo at a remote campsite in Queensland.

The child was at Ocean Lake campground on K'gari island (formerly known as Fraser Island) when the canine lunged and began attacking him. The boy was bitten on his arm, head and buttocks on Sunday afternoon.

The child's father quickly intervened and saved the boy, the officials said.

A rescue helicopter was tasked and the boy, along with his mother, was flown to the Harvey Bay airport. He was then taken to the Harvey Bay hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

The government in Queensland had issued a warning in August on increasing dingo activity for the month of December on beaches and unfenced camping areas. A seven-km-long dingo fence that wraps around the Orchid Beach township was set up last week.

Wildlife Service said rangers were helping the family and working to identify which canine was the animal, adding that they don't believe the animal was provoked.

Linda Behrendorff, the ranger in-charge of Natural Resource Management, said the attack took place in an unfenced area of the island.

"Unfortunately these children were playing in the sand and one of them got up and walked away," she told News.com.au.

Although the children were in close proximity to their parents, one of them was ambushed by a single dingo.

"These parents were keeping an eye on these children. It's just that if you're camping in an unfenced area, be aware that it is a remote area and there are wild dingoes around.

"In this case, it was an unfortunate chain of events."

However, authorities said that the dingo will not be euthanised or even relocated. Ms Behrendorff added: "At this stage, we've got extra rangers in the area and we're doing more 'be dingo safe' education."

Mayor George Seymour said it was a “terrifying ordeal” for the boy and his family. He said: "There’s an attack around once a year, and the really concerning aspect of that is it’s usually a child aged under six or seven."

"This could have easily been fatal, this is a five-year-old boy. It is really important for visitors to keep a close eye on their children,” the mayor added.

The conflict between humans and dingoes — a native predator of the island dates back decades, with one such biting incident reported every year.

The island witnessed the last fatality in a dingo attack in April 2001 when nine-year-old Clinton Gage was mauled to death by two animals. The attack lead to the culling of nearly 31 dingoes on K’gari island.


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