MELBOURNE – A 2-year-old boy was flown to hospital with bites on his head and body after a dingo attacked him early Saturday on a popular vacation island in Australia.
“The kid who was vacationing with his family is believed to have been playing in front of a house when neighbors heard a commotion,” RACQ told LifeFlight Rescue in a statement.
“They supposedly went to the exam and saw a dingo attacking the toddler.”
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The boy, accompanied by his mother, was flown from Fraser Island off the east coast to a hospital and is in stable condition.
The dingo is a protected species on Fraser Island and a popular attraction for camping tourists. According to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, the island’s dingo population is estimated at around 200, with up to 30 people roaming the island.
In 1980 the baby Azaria Chamberlain disappeared from a tent at a campsite in the Australian outback. Her mother claimed she was taken by a dingo. The baby’s body was never found, which was a secret that intrigued Australians for years and was made into a book and movie with Meryl Streep and Sam Neill.
Azaria’s mother, Lindy, was jailed for three years for the death of her daughter before she was later released. A court ruled in 2012 that a dingo killed Azaria.
Dingoes that were introduced to Australia about 4,000 years ago are protected in Queensland State National Parks, World Heritage Sites, Aboriginal Reservations, and in Australian Capital Territory. Elsewhere they are declared as pest species.
They occupy a significant place in the spiritual and cultural practices of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.