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2 Dingoes Maul 3-Year-Old Girl On Australia Beach

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DINGOES MAUL GIRL AUSTRALIA ATTACK
AP File

BRISBANE, Australia -- Two dingoes that mauled a 3-year-old girl on an Australian beach have been caught and destroyed, officials said Tuesday.

The girl suffered bites to her legs when the native wild dogs attacked her Monday after she wandered away from her family and into sand dunes on Fraser Island in northeastern Queensland state.

The two dogs blamed for the attack were trapped Tuesday and put down humanely, Environment Department general manager Terry Harper said.

More than 200 dingoes live on Fraser Island, a popular tourist spot about 155 miles (250 kilometers) north of the state capital, Brisbane.

Fraser Island is thought to be among the last refuges for purebred dingoes, and they are a protected species in the national park that covers the island. Dingoes are also protected in some other parts of the country, though in many places dingoes that have crossbred with feral dogs are killed as pests that attack sheep and cattle.

Attacks on humans are relatively rare, though visitors to Fraser Island are warned not to feed the dingoes and to leave the animals alone.

"This is a very timely reminder for everybody about how important it is to stay very close to your children on Fraser Island," Harper said. "Adults should always stay very close to their children. We know that they do excite dingoes."

A 9-year-old boy was killed by dingoes on Fraser Island in 2001, prompting the culling of more than two dozen dogs and an overhaul of conservation practices, including warnings about human interaction with the animals.

The most famous dingo attack in Australia was in 1980, when Lindy Chamberlain reported seeing a dog carry her infant daughter, Azaria, away from a tent during a camping trip to Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in Australia's central desert.

Chamberlain was tried for murder before a series of appeals and judicial inquiries exonerated her and found the dingo claims to be true. Azaria's body was never found. The story was made into the 1988 film "A Cry in the Dark," which earned Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination.

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