Shock photos spark fear for ‘starving’ dingo
A DINGO advocacy group fears a large collar around the neck of an underweight Fraser Island dingo could contribute to her slowly starving.
Save the Fraser Island Dingoes is fighting to get the collar removed from the dingo as soon as possible, fearing the weight of the collar could make her more vulnerable if she has lost condition.
A photo of the dingo wearing the large satellite collar circulated in February, sparking concerns for its welfare.
"More recent photos taken this month seem to suggest she has lost condition," Cheryl Bryant, from SFID, said.
"The female dingo was originally collared on May 12, 2019, at 13.8kg," she said. "If her condition has deteriorated over the past few months the overall weight of the collar may now exceed the recommended standard which, according to experts, should not be more than 3.5 per cent of the body weight of the animal.
"The purpose of the collar is to monitor her movements and interactions with visitors. Due to people feeding her she has incurred a number of negative interaction reports and is considered a high risk animal. In the past any high risk animal would have been immediately euthanised.
"We understand the collar has assisted the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service in collecting data and, to date, has prevented the animals destruction. Our concern is her general health and well being."
It comes as 46,000 people signed a petition on change.org calling on the State Government to stop the "mistreatment" of Fraser Island dingoes.
But a spokesman for the Department of Environment and Science said the dingo had not been adversely affected by the collar.
"Rangers have observed her successfully hunting and interacting with other dingoes," he said.
"The tracking collar has not disadvantaged or restricted her, and there is no evidence that she has lost weight or condition since being fitted with the collar. QPWS rangers closely monitor animals wearing a collar and will remove the collar if the animal's condition is negatively impacted. Tracking collars have been used to monitor dingoes since 2011."