Having driven up the East coast from Sydney to our farthest point North, Agnes Water, and now back down to Newcastle where we spent a very pleasant night with Pete and Anita (2 Brits living out here) we’ve seen hundreds of signs warning that at any moment a Kangaroo will leap out of the Forest into the path of an oncoming car. Just as prevalent are the signs warning about Koalas and the potential risk of hitting them whilst driving.
There are regular signs offering telephone numbers to call should you come across an injured animal, all of which give the impression that life and limb are at risk very second you take to the roads and highways.
However, in 4000 kilometres of driving, a canoes trip through Koala infested country and and expedition to the tropical rain forest! I can say without fear of contraception! ‘There are no Koalas or kangaroos left in Australia’.
The Government, for what ever reason, want’s to perpetuate the myth that Australia is full of wild creatures which can be viewed from every picnic area like Dartmoor ponies yet they know these animals are no more. Acknowledgement of this would be ‘bad polictics’ so they promote the myth to cover their tracks. Remember how the UK government promoted the myth of WMD?
You may wonder what has happened to these indigenous creatures?
Well, I can tell you they have suffered the same fate as the indigenous peoples, they’ve been driven out, worn down, or hunted into extinction Or forced to live where no one else wants to live And like the Indigenous peoples this comes with a raft of social problems, alcohol drugs and mental health.
It is the latter which I think has vanquished skippy and his cuddly chums.
You see, they have Koala hospitals and rescue centres here, but I think these primarily cater for Mentally Ill creatures who are depressed or psychotic, why else would a cuddly creature that has no natural enemy want to throw itself in front of the nearest passing car?
Along side every highway or B road there are road signs peppered with bullet holes or buck shot. It seems to me the Happy Hunters of Australia, devoid of wild animals to shoot now find road signs particularly good sport with the larger signs in danger of complete extinction.
Unfortunately they don’t seem to have Badgers here, if they did the hunters would presumably amuse themselves by peppering the arse of ‘Old Brock’ with a few pellets and leave the road signs alone. Though, if you listen to the UK government, Badgers are nasty creatures who won’t sit still whilst they are exterminated and hide away, ‘Changing the goal Posts’ which might prove a bit too tough for Aussie Sign Hunters.
So, sadly our hunt for Australian wild life continues on our journey to Melbourne.
Lets hope they arent such good shots there.