An eight-year-old girl is in hospital after a vicious attack by a goanna at a popular holiday destination.

The young girl was walking through a beachside camp ground on South Stradbroke Island, north of the Gold Coast. The metre-long reptile savagely latched onto the 8-year-old’s foot, resulting in serious injuries. 

“She was quite distressed… any wildlife is notoriously unpredictable, so on this occasion, it was a nasty and savage attack,” senior operations supervisor Jayney Shearman told reporters.

“Whilst walking through a camping ground [she] was attacked by a goanna that made quite a nasty laceration.

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“It was quite difficult to get the goanna off the child and needed a couple of people to become involved to remove it from her foot.”

The goanna was eventually captured by reptile catcher Tony Harrison before being released in nearby bushland.  

Experts say goanna bites can be dangerous because the carnivores feed on carrion and toxic bacteria in their mouths can cause pain, swelling and prolonged bleeding caused by bites.

The young girl is now in a stable condition.

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KIIS 1011 Melbourne