A toddler has undergone surgery and is recovering well after a dingo dragged the child from a camper trailer on Fraser Island off Queensland’s coast.
The boy suffered a fractured skull, two deep lacerations to the back of his neck and head, and several minor lacerations to the back of the scalp.
The 14-month-old’s parents were woken by his cries about midnight and when his father ran to look for him he found the boy had been taken metres from the trailer.
Paramedic Ben Du Toit got the call for help, despite the family’s poor phone reception in the area.
“According to the family, he was dragged from the campervan, several metres away,” he said.
“The parents awoke with the toddler crying and heard the crying getting further away from the campervan.
“The dad got out to investigate and found the dingo dragging the toddler away.
“He also spotted several other dingos near the vicinity.”
Mr Du Toit said the dad fought off the animals and succeed in getting his son away.
“He immediately ran up and dragged his son and chased some of the dingos off.”
Dingo believed to have slipped under canvas
Mr Du Toit met the family at the nearby Eurong resort, where there was better phone reception, and the chopper arrived about 12.30am.
The child was flown to Hervey Bay Hospital in a stable condition but was transferred about 8am to Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
Lifeflight pilot Frank Bertoli said if it was not for his parents and their quick thinking, the toddler would have had more serious injuries.
“I think he made his way under the canvas to get into the camper trailer,” he said.
“It’s pretty horrific to hear something like that come over the phone and we just wanted to get there to be able to help.
“They said that the main dingo was surrounded by others.”
The Environment Department said rangers were attempting to identify the dingoes involved.
Patrols have been increased and rangers will be visiting campers to remind them of the dangers.
They recommend staying within arms length of children, walking in groups, locking up food away from tents.
Furthermore, when faced with a dingo, they said not to run, which triggers a negative reaction.