Be wildlife aware

Encounters with wildlife are usually a highlight of your park visit but there are some species you need to be wary of. People have been seriously injured and killed by dangerous animals in Queensland.

  • Never feed, handle or play with wildlife:
    • you may get bitten or scratched
    • animals can become aggressive towards people when fed.
  • Human foods may be harmful to wild animals. Be aware that animals can transmit disease (zoonotic diseases).
  • Do not approach a distressed animal. Report injured, sick or orphaned wildlife to the Wildlife Hotline 1300 130 372.

    Snakes

    • Snakes generally retreat when encountered. If they feel threatened, they can become defensive.
    • If you come across a snake, back away to a safe distance and allow the snake to move away.
    • Know how to treat a snake bite.

    Marine stingers

    • Marine stingers (dangerous stinging jellyfish) may be present in coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months.
    • They have potent toxic stings that can cause serious illness and, in some cases, death.
    • Visit tropical stingers for safety and first aid information.

    Crocodiles

    • Crocodiles are potentially dangerous.
    • Never take unnecessary risks in crocodile habitat.
    • Check these essential tips on how to Be crocwise.
    • Report crocodile sightings to CrocWatch.

    Cassowaries

    • Cassowaries are endangered birds from the rainforests of northern Queensland.
    • Cassowaries’ behaviour is unpredictable—they can cause serious injuries to people and pets by kicking with their large clawed feet.
    • Know the Be cass-o-wary guidelines to avoid risks and help protect these endangered birds.

    Dingoes

    • Dingoes have the potential to be dangerous to humans.
    • The risk of dangerous behaviour is greatly increased in dingoes that have become habituated to humans through feeding or other encouragement.
    • If you feel threatened by a dingo:
      • stand up to your full height
      • face the dingo
      • fold your arms and keep eye contact
      • calmly back away
      • if in pairs, stand back to back
      • confidently call for help
      • do not run or wave your arms.
    • Read more about how to be dingo-safe on K'gari (Fraser Island).

    Sharks

    • Many species of sharks live in the waters all along the Queensland coast.
    • Sharks are present at all times of the year in the open ocean and in many estuaries, rivers, canals, creeks and streams.
    • Be SharkSmart in Queensland’s waters.

    Bites and stings

    • Wear protective clothing and apply personal insect repellent to protect yourself from bites and stings.
    • Visit Queensland Health for information and first aid advice.
    • Some people may suffer from anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction) after an insect bite or sting. If this occurs, apply first aid treatment for anaphylaxis.

    Plants that sting

    • Wear a long sleeved shirt and long trousers to protect your skin from thorns that scratch or leaves that sting.
    • Avoid stinging trees.
      • The leaves, stems and fruit of the stinging tree cause a sting that is extremely painful and site sensitivity can persist for several months.
      • If stung, and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.

    Want to know more?

    Read stay safe and visit with care for important information about staying safe, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.