The term ‘Wild Dog’ refers collectively to purebred dingoes, dingo hybrids, and domestic dogs that have escaped or been deliberately released. They are classed as restricted invasive species under the QLD Biosecurity Act 2014, must not be kept (if a dingo), moved, given away, sold, released into the environment, or fed. The Act requires everyone to manage the risks associated with invasive species.
Genetically pure dingoes are protected on K’gari (Fraser Island) and in some large mainland National Parks, however this is not the case here in our region.
There is a healthy and widespread population of wild dogs throughout the Cooloola Coast and given the extensive habitat, seeing them occasionally ‘passing through’ should not be of concern.
However, if they start to hang around public spaces, residential areas, domestic pets or relying on rubbish or other food sources, they do pose a risk to public safety. They can easily develop ‘habituated behaviour’, where their fear of people is reduced and they may interact more readily with humans and our domestic animals and this poses a safety risk to people and they may chase or attack people or pets.
Councils Lands Protection and Regulatory Services branch have received many reports of wild dog sightings and some interactions in and around all three Cooloola Coast towns. Wild dog activity at this time of year is high due to their breeding season and last year’s young becoming more independent.
There appears to be a few wild dogs that are frequenting the Rainbow Beach Road between Cooloola Cove and Rainbow Beach and some more on Carlo Point Road, Carlo Point. There are also a few wild dog sightings around the Tin Can Bay township, especially the Crab Creek end of town.
Some locals and tourists have been mistaking the wild dogs as dumped or stray dogs. Due to the varied appearance of these animals, they can look somewhat like a domestic breed of dog. People have been feeding the wild dogs, thinking they are helping a needy animal or dumped pet. This activity is illegal and encourages further risky behaviours to develop.
Keep yourself, your children and your pets safe. If you are closely approached by a wild dog, ensure you:
- Do not run away or turn your back – move away slowly, keeping your eye on the animal until you get to safety.
- Attempt to scare the animal away with loud noises, do not encourage it to come closer.
- Keep your pets in securely fenced backyards and when walking in public places, ensure they are always on a lead under your control as per Council’s Local Law requirements.
Council encourages anyone that has any concerning interactions with wild dogs to report it by phoning 1300 307 800 or emailing email@example.com