Australian Wildlife: A Stern Warning

Australian Wildlife: A Stern Warning


A report published last year by the Australian tourist board suggests that only 40% of visitors ever leave Australia alive. 5% are backpackers abducted by violent but lovable men in "utes", 5% just stay permanently in the country because the laid-back atmosphere makes them far too lazy to get on the plane home. This, of course, leaves a massive 50% of travellers who are killed by wildlife. I don't have any actual figures on the specific amount of casualties, but an arbitrary number I just made up suggests that as many as 8,000,000 tourists are killed each year by Australian fauna. We can't have this.

Now, to end the slaughter, the site that broke the story about Tigers' Kenyan origins brings you a "who's who" of lethal Australian wildlife that the guidebooks are afraid to tell you about because they can't spell any of the names.


Galangachuck (Foetidus Iocus)

Disarmingly odorous and stunningly ugly with a uniquely obnoxious call, the physically unimposing galangachuck is forced to prey upon people without sight, smell or hearing. Despite the rarity of suitable prey, galangachucks thrive in Tazmania where their only real competitor is a single slobbering, spinning 'devil' which many (wrongly) consider to be mythical. Unwilling to engage in the needless showboating of its unrefined rival, the galangachuck incapacitates its prey with a simple but effective barrage of tiny punches.

Fascinated by the galangachuck, beloved Australian wordsmith and noted animal botherer Steve Irwin once penned this famous verse:

Oh, great galangachuck,

You really are quite repellant,
That reminds me,
I need to buy some insect repellant,
On the way home.


Bondoblugger (Decor Dementis)

Presumably the object of an angry god's scorn, the bongoblugger never evolved legs and is cursed to live its entire life in flight. Entirely uninterested in birds or fish, this plucky animal has developed its tourist killing skills to staggeringly levels of efficiency. Having ripped out its prey's throat with one swoop, the bondoblugger's second attack run will rob the victim of his arms before the gurgling corpse hits the ground. The bondoblugger dines well and often. Australian teenagers will often choose to prove their courage by capturing and training a pet bondoblugger, there have been no survivors thus far.

Fascinated by the bondoblugger, 'the most electrifying man in nature entertainment' Steve Irwin once penned this famous verse:

Oh, great bondoblugger,
You sure can give a bloke a nasty nip,
on the neck,


Swunglebunny (Periculosus Bardus)

Like a murderous clown, the swunglebunny's comical appearance masks an intense, undying rage rarely seen in the animal kingdom. Lurking in shallow inland rivers, sustenance comes in the form of sweaty tourists eager to cool off. Instead of respite from the oppressive heat, however, all that the tourist has to look forward to is swift, bloody death at the beak of the swunglebunny. Wearing a swunglebunny beak on a necklace is popular amongst those who can afford them, but travellers looking for souvenirs should be wary of the thriving trade in cheap imitations which brought about the extinction of thirteen species of parrot in 2004 alone.

Fascinated by the swunglebunny, modern-day Renaissance man Steve Irwin once penned this famous verse:

Oh, great swunglebunny,
why do sharks steal your thunder?
you are the most dangerous aquatic predator,
to be found down under,
By quite a wide margin, I reckon.



Wodger (Bovis Propero)

With all the ferocity of a punch in the throat and none of the charm, a stationary wodger is rarely seen. Fuelled by tasty tourist flesh the wodger spends its waking hours charging around the desert with little regard for navigational merit and no specific destination in mind. It is more thanks to probability than cunning that the wodger inevitably comes across its prey. These meetings are uniformly brief and one-sided, with the wodger's horns tearing through supple tourist flesh with the effortless brutality of an atomic bomb. A wodger victim's last words are generally inconclusive but never dull.

In 1972 the inhabitants of a small town in the Northern Territory staged their own interpretation of a Spanish "running of the bull", casting a rare captive wodger in the role of the antagonist. The consequences were of course stunningly unpleasant, although actual eye-witness accounts of the carnage are conspicuously hard to come by.

Fascinated by the wodger, future Australian Prime Minister Steve Irwin once penned this famous verse:

Oh, great wodger,
I want to put you in my zoo,
stop running for a minute,
so I might capture you.


That's just a little taste of the horrors that await those brave or foolish enough to travel down under, and we haven't even touched on the spiders and snakes you'll be finding in your suitcase. Hopefully with this little guide you've learned a few tips that will somewhat increase your chances of survival. But remember, visiting Australia is much like having sex: while you can help your odds by being prepared, the only truly safe option is to abstain. Maybe you could visit Denmark instead?

Article co-written by Splush and Skoo. Animal photography by Skoo.

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