Exmouth community warned to avoid dingo interactions

Alicia PereraPilbara News
A dingo in Cape Range National Park, near Exmouth.
Camera IconA dingo in Cape Range National Park, near Exmouth. Credit: Supplied

The Shire of Exmouth is urging people to avoid feeding or interacting with dingoes after a rise in reported sightings in and around the Exmouth townsite, including some incidents involving aggressive behaviour towards domestic animals.

There has been an increase in dingo activity in the town in the past few months, including reports of the animals attacking chickens and attempting to take a domestic dog.

Initial informationsuggests sightings are happening in areas where dingoes have previously been fed by members of the public.

Shire of Exmouth president Matt Niikkula said people should not feed, give water to or interact with dingoes because they could be aggressive.

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“Unfortunately, when people start feeding these animals they quickly learn that people are a source of food,” he said.

“That brings them into town and into conflict with local residents and domestic animals.”

With support from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Shire staff are working to address the problem and are asking members of the public to report any dingo sightings and interactions to help them build a clearer picture of the situation.

They are also planning to install educational signs to remind the public not to feed or interact with dingoes, and are seeking expert advice to determine whether further action should be taken to address the town’s dingo population.

Pilbara Wildlife Carers Association coordinator Rose Best said dingoes were wild animals and did not belong in urban areas, but could be drawn there if they began to associate people with easy access to food.

“Their noses are super sensitive, way more than a domestic dog, because they are a wild dog,” — they are part wolf,” she said.

“You leave the slightest wisp of scent (of food) around and they know something is out.

“People should not be feeding them, because it’s only going to lead to problems and then it’s the animals that get put down.”

However, she said dingoes scared easily and could usually be frightened off by loud noises.

If you have seen or felt threatened by a dingo in Exmouth, submit an incident report form at exmouth.wa.gov.au.

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