A Melbourne tourist has snapped a photograph of two unattended dogs at Gillards Beach inside Mimosa Rocks National Park.
One person was walking around with a tomahawk to feel safe.Tourist Boyce Felstead
Boyce Felstead saw what he thought were wild dogs on the beach on Tuesday afternoon and quickly alerted National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“People at the beach said they had seen dogs eating a wallaby they had killed,” Mr Felstead said.
“One person was walking around with a tomahawk to feel safe.”
Mr Felstead said he was so shaken by the experience, he left the camping ground and headed north.
He said the dogs had no collar and appeared to possibly be restricted breeds in NSW.
“They looked like mixed breed hunting dogs used to hunt pigs,” Mr Felstead said.
“To me it’s a significant safety issue, particularly for children.”
He said when he had contacted the NPWS, he was told there had been another report earlier in the day from the same beach.
“What interested me was there were multiple reports through the day, and they hadn’t done anything about it,” Mr Felstead said.
A NPWS spokesperson said neighbours had recently been reminded to ensure their pets do not wander into the national park.
“If an unattended dog is found on park, NPWS works with council rangers to determine if the dog can be caught, impounded and to identify the owner,” the spokesperson said.
“Penalties apply for taking dogs and other domestic animals into a national park - the maximum penalty is $3300 for an individual.”
The spokesperson said sightings of unattended domestic dogs, which are not permitted in national parks, and wild dogs within parks are “very rare”.
“NPWS control wild dogs on the national parks estate by baiting, trapping and/or shooting to minimise the impact they have on park neighbours and native plants and animals,” they said.
“If people come across a domestic or wild dog, safety is the first priority.
“Park visitors should not approach the dog but move away.
“If is safe to do so, visitors may gather some basic information about the dog, location, date, time and report the matter to a national parks office, remembering to provide contact details should NPWS need to seek further information,” they said.