Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | March 3, 2009

Croc Chase

Indians visiting abroad generally face questions on the free movement of animals, reptiles, insects and amphibians in the country. I for one do not like animals on Indian streets (for reasons associated with my fear which I expressed in one of my earlier posts); but I have never faced such queries myself.

My friends, who either have come from different parts of the world or have visited far many places compared to me enrich my knowledge quite a bit. While they are amazed by the rat temple in Rajasthan, they also tell me that apparently everything is eaten in the Asian world, including rats.

I don’t have religious inhibitions as regards to eating anything but my lack of preference when it comes to trying out different kinds of eatables is quite known. Thus the idea of eating frogs, rats, ox tongue, cockroaches, snakes, grasshoppers, monkey brain, and dog meat did not excite me much. I quipped may be that is why other countries could manage to deal with the issue of freely roaming animals, amphibians, reptiles and insects because they eat up most of the things that are available.

India is certainly not the only country where you have lizards and cockroaches fighting for survival inside your homes. I believe since Indians are generally touchy about every reality concerning their country that is why the world picks Indians up to ask such uncomfortable questions?

In Australia I hear the world’s most dangerous animals live. When I came to know about the wildlife in Australia, I was wondering why does one normally associate wildlife just with Africa and Amazon.

One of my Aussie friend was telling me, that in Northern parts of Australia there are such menacing crocodiles that when it floods, the crocodiles come to the town streets and eat up people! I was shocked and did not really want to imagine whether being chased by an 18 feet long crocodile is any better than being chased by an Indian Langoor. I don’t want to be chased by either to be honest. Apparently of the 10 most dangerous snakes in the world, 8 are Australians. That is why, special care is recommended while taking bush walks in Australia.

This website on the dangerous animals in Australia, is quite informative. The site however assures readers in the end that you don’t get to see such animals commonly in the cities. However, stories of Aussie spiders, bush flies and spiders are frequently talked about. I have met many people who say that dealing with these is common feature in Australia. Even crocodile attacks during floods in Queensland, is apparently quite common. Shark attacks are quite common too. Sad stories of accidents are reported in newspapers frequently. I have never visited Australia, so I don’t know whether the Aussies (or people who have stayed in Australia), I have met are telling the correct thing or not. They may be exaggerating a bit but truth is Aussies insects, animals, reptiles, snakes are quite exuberant and they come too close to human vicinity.

I have nothing against animals but I am comfortable seeing them in a zoo.

So next time an Aussie asks an Indian whether he has a snake charmer in the family the Indian can ask him back whether he has been ever visited by a crocodile his backyard. I wish he says no because crocodile visiting him may not be good, but he may have seen Kangaroos visiting him for sure.

PS: The above note should not deter you from visiting Australia though. This is just based on stories and some news clippings. Like I mentioned before, I am yet to meet some seriously affected people.



  1. That was horrifying. Aussie crocs coming inside Aussie towns and eating up Aussies during floods is a terrible thing. That’s it. I am never going to Australia. Never in any birth for Heaven’s Sake. Even the other day I was wondering of having a career in Australia. Now it is a strict NO for me. Please do not tell me Tanmoyda that there is this problem in Auckland too. If it is so, I will be disheartened. I hate reptiles and insects. In fact, I have a phobia for reptiles and insects.

  2. Well, the thing about crocodiles is that they’re only likely to attack if you’re in their water. If you’re walking around on the streets, even if one has gotten into a populated area, it’s not likely to attack. A croc will only attack if it has a 100-percent chance of getting you – which it seldom does on dry land. Their tails are their main form of propulsion, and it’s far stronger than their legs.

    Back in the old days here in Phoenix, I used to get rattlesnakes, rabbits, coyotes and various lizards in my backyard. My brother 100 miles away always had javelina, deer, racoons and even the occasional cow!

    As for your friend above, there is absolutely nothing anywhere in NZ that’s dangerous, much less in Auckland. The bush there is very tame – just deer, stoats, possums and the like. No poisonous snakes at all.

    And yes, go to the glaciers! Wait until you see my post about the Franz Josef hike. Spectacular!

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