SYDNEY: Two dingoes have been put down after a French mother and son were mauled at an Australian tourist island, authorities said Sunday, the second attack in the popular spot in just over a month.
Paramedics said the pair had just stepped out of a vehicle at the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island off the Queensland state coast on Thursday evening when they came across a pack of dingoes.
“The couple panicked and ran back toward the vehicle and it was that time when the pack actually chased them and attacked,” Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Michael Augustus said Friday.
The woman had “multiple superficial bites, predominantly to the lower limbs” while the boy had “significant wounds to his legs, arms and face,” he said. Both were taken to a nearby hospital in a stable condition.
Augustus said the pair were believed to be French tourists, with local media reporting that the boy was aged nine and the woman in her 20s.
One dingo involved in the attack was captured and euthanized by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers on Friday and another was put down Sunday, the state’s environment department said in a statement.
In January, a six-year-old boy was mauled by the native animal after as he ran up a dune on the island.
Fraser, the world’s largest sand island, is popular with tourists for its beaches — and dingoes.
Authorities have warned visitors in the past that dingoes are wild animals and need to be treated as such.
Tourists are also told to keep children close by, to not run, and to not to feed the dingoes.
Native to Australia, dingoes came under the spotlight with the disappearance of baby Azaria Chamberlain at Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in 1980 for which her mother Lindy was convicted of murder and her father, Michael, of being an accessory.
The convictions were overturned in 1988 after the chance find of a piece of Azaria’s clothing near a dingo lair.
A landmark court ruling in 2012 found that a dingo did snatch their baby from a tent.