Late last year several comments were left by people who would love to visit Australia, but apart from the obvious concerns about distance and cost, there was a common theme of “we’re scared of all the scary creatures down there”. Well, I’m here today to help quell that fear.
Yes, we do have 9 of the worlds 10 deadliest spiders. And yes, the numbers aren’t much better with the snakes. And yes, our baby salt water crocodiles are about the same size as the adult male alligators from Florida that you see on the news from time to time.
We have lots of cute cuddly animals in Australia – me, for instance. But not koalas. They’re either asleep (which seems cuddly) or eating (which seems harmless). The problem with them is fairly fundamental. Have you ever interrupted your grandfather while he was sleeping in his rocking chair on a warm Sunday afternoon? Remember how savage he was when he woke? What about when you interrupted him in the middle of dinner? Don’t mess with grandpa; and don’t mess with koalas.
There are other cute and cuddly animals. Kangaroos. They are just as cute as Looney Tunes portrays them except “the real danger lies in a serious kick with the hindleg. The sharpened toenails can disembowel” – ref. Wiki.
Others are incredibly cute. My kids. But they’re an endangered species, due mainly to my parenting skills which are often referred to as either amateurish or haphazard, or both.
Then there’s the unseen joys. The real reason for this post is a photograph that my sister sent my recently. The yellow thing in the right of the photo is a fully extended 10 foot tape measure. The grey thing on the left was found hanging from the security grill of my one year old niece’s bedroom window. Don’t panic, it’s just a snake skin. But they shrivel up when they moult, so the living breathing owner of that skin may be 12 feet long. He may also be non-venomous, but that’s only speculation because where my sister lives is known for brown snakes and red belly black snakes.
So come on over. It’s really a great place. And not all that dangerous – the population continues to grow despite our fauna.