Tag: Queensland

A freak accident

This was an item on yesterday’s BBC News.

One knows the saying: “Never say never!”

That saying comes to mind when one reads about an attack on a dog in Queensland, Australia reported on the BBC News.

Here’s that item.


Australia couple injured in ‘freak’ goanna attack on their dog

Goannas can grow up to two metres (6.5ft) in length

An elderly couple has been attacked in Australia by a goanna (a large lizard), as they tried to stop it from savaging their dog, emergency officials say.

The man, in his 70s, was said to have sustained significant injuries and was airlifted to hospital after the incident in north-eastern Queensland.

The woman, in her 60s, was also taken to hospital with an injury to her foot.

The couple’s dog, a long-haired Jack Russell cross, was seriously injured.

Goannas can grow up to 2m (6.5ft) in length, though most varieties are under 1m, and rarely attack humans.

The rescue service described the attack which took place in Flametree near Airlie Beach, as “a horrific and freak ordeal”.

“The man suffered a very serious laceration and possible fracture of his right forearm as well as severe bleeding from his leg wound. He was in considerable pain,” ABC News quotes an ambulance worker as saying.

“The patients are quite lucky not to have been more seriously injured given that goannas can be quite savage,” another ambulance worker told ABC, adding: “It doesn’t happen every day, that’s for sure.”

The dog was earlier reported to have died, but ABC later reported that it had survived the attack.


Now I wasn’t sure what a goanna was but thanks to Wikipedia (and not the only source), we find:

Goanna refers to some species of the genus Varanus found in Australia and Southeast Asia.

Around 80 species of Varanus are known, 25 of which are found in Australia. This varied group of carnivorous reptiles ranges greatly in size and fills several ecological niches.[1]

The goanna features prominently in Aboriginal mythology and Australian folklore.

Being predatory lizards, goannas are often quite large, or at least bulky, with sharp teeth and claws. The largest is the perentie (V. giganteus), which can grow over 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in length.

Not all goannas are gargantuan. Pygmy goannas may be smaller than the arm of an adult human. The smallest of these, the short-tailed monitor (Varanus brevicuda) reaches only 20 cm (8 inches) in length. They survive on smaller prey, such as insects and mice.

Goannas combine predatory and scavenging behaviours. A goanna will prey on any animal it can catch and is small enough to eat whole. Goannas have been blamed for the death of sheep by farmers, though most likely erroneously, as goannas are also eaters of carrion and are attracted to rotting meat.

Most goannas are dark-coloured, with greys, browns, blacks and greens featuring prominently; however, white is also common. Many desert-dwelling species also feature yellow-red tones. Camouflageranges from bands and stripes to splotches, speckles, and circles, and can change as the creature matures, with juveniles sometimes being brighter than adults.

Like most lizards, goannas lay eggs. Most lay eggs in a nest or burrow, but some species lay their eggs inside termite mounds. This offers protection and incubation; additionally, the termites may provide a meal for the young as they hatch. Unlike some other species of lizards, goannas do not have the ability to regrow limbs or tails.

So there you are!

More floating kindness.

This time it is not deer but kangaroos!

Huge numbers of you reacted so wonderfully to my post of last Tuesday, Afloat on a Sea of Kindness, in which I republished the account of the boat Alaska Quest saving the lives of four deer that were somehow cast into the water.

deer112One of the many comments to that post was from Barb who writes the blog Passionate about Pets.

Barb left a comment to say that she had recently published an account of drowning kangaroos being saved and I thought all you good people would enjoy reading Barb’s post.


Drowning Kangaroos Hitch Boat Ride

roo-hitchhikersThis photo of kangaroos hitching a boat ride touched my heart, and I felt I had to share it with you guys.

The photo was sent to me from friends during the recent evacuation of Theodore, a small country town in Queensland, Australia, which felt the full brunt of the recent floods.

Animal losses were high during the floods with farmers losing livestock, and wild animals were no exception – many got swept  away in the flood waters and drowned – but these guys got lucky.
Under normal circumstances a kangaroo would normally panic and take a swipe at a human, easily tearing him to pieces with his long, strong claws. The feet and tail are even more powerful and dangerous.

So you can imagine how hard it would be to get wild kangaroos into, and then sit, in a boat under normal circumstances . . . this is not a sight you will see often . . . but then, these were not normal circumstances.

These desperate and drowning kangaroos willingly accepted human help and were quite happy to hitch a ride to dry land. Better than the alternative.

I think even wild animals recognize when a human is trying to help them and the compassion this kind man showed to these kangaroos certainly restores my faith in human nature.




Two very cool acts of love towards our animals!

Anyone got a story of an animal saving a human from drowning? (I bet there must be more than one account in history!)

Wisdom, nature and … a Koala!

As topic changes go, this takes some beating!

I am referring, of course, to the contrast to yesterday’s post title: Wisdom, nature and philosophy.

The drought that this part of Oregon has been experiencing has had one obvious effect: the availability of good hay is rapidly diminishing.  With four horses to feed and our own pasture just about eaten out, we need a few more tons before the rains arrive around the end of the year: fingers crossed!  We have been frantically trying to find some.

What, you may ask, has this to do with Learning from Dogs?  Only that by the time I sat down yesterday to write today’s post, I was squeezed in terms of writing a longer post, and had less than an hour to spare before driving up to Glendale to look at some second-cutting hay for sale.

Then a recent email from a long-term friend in Australia saved the day.  It was from Amanda Smith and is reproduced just as she sent it to me; that in turn had been sent to Amanda from a friend of hers.  It’s a delightful tale.


Koalas Like the Beach As Well.

This occurred on a walk along Flinders Beach on North Stradbroke Island in Queensland a couple of days ago.

The Koalas seem fairly tame over here. We passed two sitting in she-oak trees each about two metres off the ground. They were not spooked at all by the attention we gave them.

Then, about half way along the beach, we saw this young fellow actually running up and down the beach and playing around the kids like a puppy.







After the koala allowed itself to be stroked and petted by us humans, it decided to go for a swim!





Then the little chap went about twenty metres into the sea, swam around for a good half-hour fascinating onlookers, before coming back to the beach.





The little chap then took a while to recover from his swim.

We have never heard of or seen this behaviour before: a koala who likes to “play” with humans, and swim in the ocean.

Unbelievable stuff, something we will always remember.

(Credit Allan Duncan)


Makes finding hay for horses seem mundane! 🙂