Saturday 2 November 2013

Hits and myth

This is as close as I care to come to a saltwater crocodile, as a general rule. It's not that I mind handling reptiles - on the contrary, I'm fascinated by their cool smooth slipperiness and their otherness from my overwhelmingly mammal experience. I was pleased to get my hands on an olive python too today at the Billabong Sanctuary just outside Townsville, here in Tropical North Queensland, even if it did at one point completely encircle my neck.

This was one of those classic smaller wildlife parks that I've been to so often all around Australia and enjoy every time. There are always wandering kangaroos, friendly and gentle, and loose rowdy birds (here, pretty plumed whistling ducks). In the enclosures there are the usual suspects: dingos, wombats, echidna, cassowaries and crocs.

And there's always a programme of encounters and photo ops, where a personable young bloke with a winning line of patter dishes out some education-lite about the various creatures and has some fun with misinformation. Today Jack was perpetuating the Drop Bear myth. It's completely real, you know. That it's a myth, that is. Get googling, why don't you?

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