Two pit bull cross dogs attacked a camel train at the weekend as it carried tourists along Broome's Cable Beach, leaving one woman and five camels injured.The Broome Shire said the dogs were not on leashes when they attacked the camels on Saturday evening.
As the dogs attacked, an Eastern States tourist was thrown off her animal and had to be taken to hospital with suspected spinal and wrist injures.
Five camels were left with deep bite marks to their legs.
Camel tour operator Samantha Cousins was leading the camel train when the dogs attacked and said it was distressing for everyone involved.
"I'm just thankful that more people didn't come off the camels," she said.
"I know it has happened in the past and I think it's something where the Shire, the camel operators and the locals with dogs need to work together to ensure that it never happens again."
Shire Ranger Craig Burgess arrived at the scene minutes after the attack.
"It would be a very scary situation to be in, trying to control a line of camels with customers on the back, with dogs hassling the camels," he said.
"It would be a pretty full-on thing to go through. The [camel] owners were visibly upset and a couple of people who were on the camels were upset too."
Dogs are supposed to be kept under control at all times on Cable Beach.
The Shire is investigating before deciding if there will be a penalty for the dog owners.
Update May 24, 2010 10:55am - The Age , in a report, has a quote from tour operater Sam Cousins:
''We walked past this ute and the dogs took an interest in the camels. I said to the guy, 'Are you going to grab your dogs?' and he said, 'No, no, they'll be fine,' '' she said. ''The next thing, they latched on to the first five camels.''
Update May 27, 2010 8:44pm - News.com.au is reporting that one of the two dogs has been declared dangerous.
The Shire of Broome today declared one of the dogs to be dangerous and ordered its owners to keep it muzzled at all times in public.
The owners must also keep the dog on a leash and ensure it wears a collar that identifies it as dangerous.
The Shire of Broome served the owners with five infringement notices totalling $500 in fines.