Published: December 15th 2008December 8th 2008
The Ferocious Koala
Chewing on a little Eucalyptus to get the morning started.
I have been wandering around Brisbane and Lamington National Park for the past few days checking out all of the strange and bizarre animals that make Australia such a unique place. I have witnessed people fawn over Koala's as they sit stoned out of their mind on eucalyptus leaves. We marveled at how the animals are able to sleep in such strange configurations. Then people started to realize that if your returned to your photographs from college, you could see humans doing the same thing. Instead of hanging around trees, we were hanging around toilet bowls. Then there are the kangaroos, an always entertaining and skittish animal. If it weren't for the free handouts I am not sure we would ever see one up close. Add the plethora of wombats, wallabies, lorikeets and tasmanian devils and you are in an animal freak show (unless you are from Australia and then your freak show would be bears, raccoons and squirrels). Just when you were starting to love everything furry and Australian you are quickly reminded of the other animals that inhabit Australia - deadly poisonous ones.
Now I would like to pretend that I was foraging manly through the Outback when
Carpet Python clever appearing to be sleeping in the sun. Don't be fooled.
I encountered the deadly one, but that isn't the case. In fact it is really a rather non masculine experience. You see I was in the Botanical Gardens section of the park attempting to find the ancient Antarctic Beech tree that helped scientists support the theories of Gondwana. Low and behold I ran into my least favorite animals - snakes. I managed to stay calm enough to not scream like a three year old girl (which is my normal reaction to anything that moves that fast sans feet) and even managed to snap a picture of the carpet python. Granted he was sleeping and just trying to get warm, but I shall tell everyone that it darted from the bushes and lashed out at me. Likewise with the red bellied black snake that I later witnessed from quite some distance. Upon returning to the park centre, Matt managed to research the snakes and found out that the red bellied black snake is in fact a venomous snake whose bit can be fatal. Needless to say I went through a whole dramatic rant about how I could have been killed by that menacing creature (who happened to be sunning himself on
Just chilling out on a hot day
the concrete) as I was walking around a garden. Not exactly the way I intended to go. I think choking on your own toothpaste, hitting your head on the bathroom sink and then cracking the back of your head on the toilet is a much more dignified way to go then to just be bitten by a snake while checking out some ferns.
After that fantastic brush with death I came to appreciate the Koala much more. It doesn't move much and when it does, it is deliberate and rather slow. It is reassuring to know that it is in fact half in the bag. I feel that my odds are good at fending off (or running away) an angry Koala. Maybe the reassurance is due to the fact that I now carry a small bag of eucalyptus leaves in my pocket everywhere I go in Australia.
There are more photos below