All You Need To Know When You Travel Australia's Outback -- part Two

Yes, the Aussie wildlife is indeed endlessly fascinating. Take note though that we're talking wild creatures here, and many an Outback casualty have something to do with animals.

February 10, 2007. Hawthorn, Australia ---Australia prides itself with a diverse wildlife: kangaroos, koalas, possums, wallabies, potaroos, dugongs, kookaburras, arowana fishes, Tasmanian tigers, emus, platypus, spiders, scorpions, octopus, wobbegong shark, barracuda, jellyfish, stonefish, and stingrays--the name-dropping can go on forever.

Yes, the Aussie wildlife is indeed endlessly fascinating. Take note though that we're talking wild creatures here, and many an Outback casualty have something to do with animals.

Snakes in your Tent
Don't worry, snakes don't usually wander into peoples' tents; after all they are every bit afraid of humans as we are of them. It should interest you to know though that Australia is renowned for having the most species of poisonous snakes in the world. And the venomous variety in Australia outnumbers its non-venomous ones.

In case of a snakebite, it is most important that you stay still so the venom doesn't spread. Apply pressure to the bitten area, preferably with firm bandages, about as tight as you would bind a sprained ankle. Do not apply a tourniquet. Splint the whole area to immobilise. Then have someone drive you to the nearest hospital or doctor as quickly as possible. Remember, in Australia, the number for emergency services is ?000'.

Waterholes or ?billabongs? that you may come across in your travel might look inviting especially in the sweltering sun, but unless you want to be buddy-buddy with crocodiles, DO NOT GO IN THE WATER. Australia's Saltwater Crocodile is the largest of its species and yes, they can and do kill humans. On the other hand, freshwater crocs rarely bother humans.

In any case, signboards will warn about the presence of crocodiles in billabongs, lakes, and other bodies of water, but don?t always count on them. It's best not to go there for even a quick dip. Your travel guide should know about the safest swimming holes to go to.

Furry Animals
Sure, Taz of Looney Tunes, and cartoonized kangaroos, and other furry animals may seem cute and harmless on TV, but beware of them in real life. Kangaroos, for one, can pack a mighty kick with those back feet. And yes, they're handy with their paws as well. (No wonder they're often depicted wearing boxing gloves.)

And then, there are the dingoes. They may look sweet, but they're still untamed, so have second thoughts when you feel tempted to pet them.

Rule of thumb: Don't touch or feed anything.

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