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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 10:32 GMT
Baby unhurt by brush with dingo
By Phil Mercer
BBC correspondent in Sydney

An Australian wild Dingo dog pictured at an Australian Wildlife park April 1998
Fatal dingo attacks on humans are extremely rare
A family from Britain has had a lucky escape after a dingo walked into their hotel room in Australia and came dangerously close to their young baby.

The animal was scared away after the child's five-year-old sister cried out, and has since been destroyed.

Belinda Corke, from Henley-on-Thames, said the wild dog came within feet of her 14-week-old baby, Scarlett.

Three years ago an Australian boy was mauled to death by dingoes in the same location - Fraser Island.

The baby was lying on a bed while her parents were in the bathroom.

As the dingo approached, the baby's sister Georgia stood in its way and screamed for help.

"At first I thought she was just messing around so I didn't immediately run out and then my husband sort of heard her shouting dingo! Dingo!," Ms Corke told Australia's ABC radio.

"We ran into the bedroom expecting to find the dingo out on the road or nearby, but not in the hotel room which it was.

"We had our three-month-old baby lying on the bed and Georgia was standing in front of her very bravely. The dingo was about two-foot away from the baby. It was quite nasty," she said.

The Corke family moved from Britain to Brisbane three years ago, for the sunshine and a more relaxed lifestyle.

Belinda Corke has said they remain very shaken up after their ordeal.

But she told ABC she did not think the dog should be killed.

"I think we share this planet with animals and I think this is really an unfortunate circumstance. What would be a wiser precaution to take on the part of all of us on the island is that they could at least put more explicit signs that these animals have become so bold that they're willing to come into a room."

Fraser Island has a large population of aggressive, native dogs. Three years ago a young boy died after being attacked by two dingoes.

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