BRISBANE, Australia – A 5-year-old girl saved her infant sister from a possible attack by an Australian dingo (search) in a hotel room on an island where the wild dogs killed a boy three years ago.
The mother of the girls said Wednesday she and her husband were in the bathroom of their resort hotel room on Fraser Island (search) off Australia's east coast Friday when the husband heard their daughter, Georgia, shout, "Dingo! Dingo!"
"We ran into the bedroom, expecting to find the dingo out on the road or nearby, but not in the hotel room," Belinda Corke told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
"We had our 3-month-old baby lying on the bed and Georgia was standing in front of her — very bravely," she added.
The dingo was about two feet away from the baby "and yeah, it was quite nasty," she said.
Dingoes roam wild around much of the largely unpopulated island, about 90 miles north of Brisbane, but authorities have tried to keep them away from areas visited by tourists.
There have been several dingo attacks on humans on Fraser Island in recent years, most involving children.
In 2001, two dingoes attacked and killed 9-year-old Clinton Gage and seriously injured his 7-year-old brother. A German tourist was bitten by dingoes on the island in February 1999 and a 3-year-old Norwegian girl was attacked in 1998.
Last week's close call prompted one lawmaker to call for a cull of dingoes on Fraser Island, saying they are "out of control."
"The government has to make a decision on ... whether they're going to have something that is possibly a threat to tourists, or reduce the numbers dramatically," said legislator Shane Knuth.
The family was staying at the island's Kingfisher Bay ecotourism resort.
Resort spokeswoman Kay Bishop said the complex has no fence to keep out dingoes, but that visitors get extensive warnings about the dogs, including advice not to feed them and not to leave children alone.
All the rooms at the resort are wooden structures that have sliding doors opening onto 3-foot-high decks, she said.
"You come to Fraser Island, you know there are dingoes on the island, and that's part of the attraction," Bishop said. "We get guests who complain they haven't seen any."
In 1980, a 10-week-old girl, Azaria Chamberlain (search), was killed by a dingo at a campsite near Uluru, or Ayers Rock (search), in Australia's Outback. Azaria's mother, Lindy Chamberlain (search), was initially convicted of murdering her daughter — whose body was never found — but the conviction was later overturned after tests confirmed a dingo was responsible.
The case divided the nation, and the story was made into the 1988 movie "A Cry in the Dark" starring Meryl Streep (search).