Posted by: adventuressetravels | January 4, 2013

Where Have All the Kangaroos Gone?

Kookaburra

Kookaburra

I’d been hearing about the plague of kangaroos in Australia for months before I arrived.

“There are more kangaroos in Australia than people!” one Australian had exclaimed.  He then went on to tell me that they were such a pest that many Australian vegetarians made a dietary exception for  the curious creatures.

I couldn’t wait to see one.  Such fascinating creatures.  Sure I’d seen them in Bandicootzoos, but there is something special about seeing animals in their natural habitat.  To my disappointment there weren’t any roos  waiting to meet me, hopping around the Gold Coast International airport.  Nor did I encounter any errant strays hopping down the streets of Brisbane, but surely there would be some at the next place.

I flew to the Whitsundays, sailed up the coast stopping at Magnetic Island, ports,

Weeks I told myself that I would see  kangaroos at the next port, at the next stop.  After all, such an unusual species that clearly thrived alongside human population was interesting more than just for the fact that they were a biological curiosity for people outside of the land down under.

As hopeful and intent as I was, I didn’t see a single kangaroo in 4 months traveling in Australia.  Not a wallaby.  For all the hype, one must really go to the right place to see one.   Oh I saw a koala – sure, heard a kookaburra laugh, even watched a bandicoot playing in the dirt, but nary a kangaroo.  Australian friends were incredulous that I made it there without a single encounter.  According to them I may be the only person alive to visit Australia without encountering their public pest number one but there it is.

In case you visit Australia with the high hopes of seeing the country’s national animal then one must go about it carefully.  Apparently the creatures are not as fond of water as I am and avoid the coast, beaches, and most areas that one would sail to preferring the more arid interior.  That said, allegedly the mammals do make their way to the water.

There are some extraordinary and fantastic species in Australia, but I’m skeptical that kangaroos are quite as common as the legends have it.  I’m not entirely sure it’s worth another trip to Australia for a roo spotting expedition, but the thought has crossed my mind.

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Responses

  1. the question is, did you see a tawny frogmouth? they are indubitably the best australian animal.

  2. “… still ran Dingo – Dirty Dog Dingo …” See Kipling to learn how the kangaroo became “different from all other animals.” I gather that no one offered you roo meat, either.


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