Two Australian women have each been fined $2,300 for interacting with wongari (dingoes) on K'gari (also known as Fraser Island) in Australia, reports the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES). The women were reported to the department after they posted images and videos of their encounters with the wongari on social media.
According to DES Compliance Manager Mike Devery, these actions posed a serious risk to both the women and the animals. He said one of the women could have been bitten by a wongari, which was displaying dominance-testing behavior.
The other woman recklessly approached three sleeping wongari pups, risking an aggressive response if the mother had been nearby.
Devery said in a statement, "Wongari are known for defending their packs and their pups, and it is unbelievable that people would endanger their wellbeing like this. Deliberately interacting with wongari is irresponsible, and rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) will not tolerate it. Our number one priority is to keep people on K'gari safe and conserve the population of wongari, and those who blatantly ignore the rules for social media attention can expect a fine or a court appearance."