October 6, 2015
Our French exchange student arrived quite trepidatious that the Australian wildlife was going to injure him. It’s a common reaction from overseas’ guests and one I find both a little bewildering and entertaining. I am not sure why Australia is singled out as being so dangerous and my response to North Americans is always, “but you have BEARS!!!”
I was never more terrified about camping than in the Canadian Rockies. At least a snake will generally slither away if it sees you— a bear will come right at you. The only thing I fear as much as a grizzly bear is a saltwater crocodile. Those things predate dinosaurs and I reckon they’re one of the the most dangerous creatures on earth.
Australians love nothing more than ‘putting the wind up’ tourists so in true Aussie fashion we had lots of fun introducing him to all the dangerous things 😉 (Most of the really dangerous ones were behind bars or in an aquarium; I’m not stupid!)
Apparently, we have the most venomous snakes in the world. Tiger, Brown, Copperhead…. Fortunately,
they mostly move when they feel the vibrations of your feet although I have almost
stepped on the occassional one. I tend to give them a wide berth and always carry a pressure bandagewhen out walking in the bush.
In far north Queensland (WHY does anyone choose to live there?) they have the Cassowary. This bird can disembowel you in a short space of time with their huge feet. Sadly, their rainforest habitat is under threat and their numbers are listed as endangered. They also have salt water crocodiles; my worst nightmare. In the sea there are sharks, deadly jelly fish and the blue ringed octopus as well as stone fish…this is why I live in the south cos down here we only have the occassional shark!
Of course we also have CUTE. There is the Koala although best left in the tree, because they stink and they are grumpy and can give you a nasty scratch from those big claws. Kangaroos are also best avoided as they can box and send you flying with their big feet. We have really pretty birds, although if you’re a small dog, best not be out if a Wedgetail eagle is about 😉 So just like I gazed at Moose from a distance, most of our wild animals are best viewed with a safety zone between them and us.
Our wildlife is great for scenes in books, though 🙂 I wrote the The Doctor Claims His Bride, after a vacation in the far north of Australia where they have a lot of nasties and it was great book fodder. Mind you, I was totally freaked out the entire time I was up there. Intrigued? You can grab it at Amazon and all other eBook places along with all my other Australian-set Harlequin Medical Romances (21 so far 😉 )
Enjoy this funny video clip from the Scared Weird Little Guys and do come visit; seriously, we’re not that scary!
In home country, what do you fear the most?