Rangers investigating the savage mauling of a toddler by a dingo on Fraser Island have called for eyewitnesses to the attack to come forward.
The two-year-old boy has wounds all over his body but will recover after a lone dingo repeatedly bit him early on Saturday.
The boy had wandered away from the home he was staying at with his family.
Neighbours in the residential area of Orchid Beach who heard the commotion and rushed outside may well have saved his life.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers are investigating the attack and want to speak to eyewitnesses.
They haven’t been able to find those first on the scene but have interviewed others.
The child suffered wounds to his leg, arm, the base of his neck, his shoulder and also had a laceration at the base of his head, a Fraser Island paramedic said.
He was flown to Bundaberg Hospital with his mother, leaving the rest of his traumatised family on the island.
“The child has managed somehow to get out of the house that the family was staying at, while other members of the family were … asleep,” said the paramedic, who didn’t want to be named.
“He’s gone for a little wander and has been approached by one of the dingoes. This child is extremely lucky not to sustain worse injuries.”
The paramedic said the outcome could have been very different if the boy had encountered a pack rather than a lone dingo and warned everyone on the island to watch children carefully at all times.
“Dingoes will do what dingoes do and always go for the small, weaker ones.”
History of dingo attacks
Dingo attacks on Fraser Island are not uncommon.
The last one was in early February when two of them wounded an eight-year-old boy, forcing the closure of two campgrounds.
Authorities have been working for some time to reduce interactions between dingoes and people.
Efforts have been focused on trying to stop people from feeding the animals so they don’t associate humans with food.
Fines for interfering with the wild dogs were increased in 2019. In March a fisherman copped a $2135 fine for feeding a dingo, not long after the attack on the eight-year-old.
Two of the worst attacks in recent years happened weeks apart.
In April 2019, a 14-month-old boy was dragged by his head from his family’s camper trailer, leaving him with a fractured skull and puncture wounds.
The previous month a French woman and her nine-year-old son were attacked by a pack when they got out of their car.
In 2001, two dingoes stalked and killed a nine-year-old boy when he tripped and fell near an island campsite. His brother was also mauled.