Goanna attack: Queensland couple in hospital after 'freak ordeal'

Man aged 72 suffers significant injuries during reptile assault at Flametree, Airlie Beach

Goanna
The goanna attack on a Queensland couple at Flametree, Airlie Beach, put them in hospital after it attacked and nearly killed their dog. Photograph: Gemma Phillips/PR IMAGE

An elderly Queensland couple are in a stable condition after being attacked by a goanna while walking their dog on Thursday.

The 72-year-old man sustained serious arm and leg injuries from the attack, which had the potential to be life-threatening, according to Shane Tucker, the senior operations supervisor for Queensland Ambulance.

“He was breaking up an attack on his dog – he was rescuing his dog,” Tucker said. “He has had quite significant injuries to his arm and leg and has had some blood loss.”

The man was taken to hospital by CQ Rescue and is in a stable condition. The dog, a Jack Russell, was earlier reported to have died but ABC reported on Friday evening that the dog had survived.

The injured woman said news of her dog’s survival was “the best news I’ve heard all day”.

Tucker told media that the goanna attack, which occurred at Flametree, near Airlie Beach, was “definitely out of the ordinary”, and the man was lucky to be in a stable condition, given the danger.

“Due to the claws of the goanna, I would imagine it would have potential for significant, even life-threatening injuries.”

A spokesman for CQ Rescue told the ABC it was “a horrific and freak ordeal”.

“The reptile suddenly turned on them, latching onto the man’s right arm and leg as well as biting the woman’s leg.

“The man suffered a very serious laceration and possible fracture of his right forearm as well as severe bleeding from his leg wound. He was in considerable pain.”