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<   No. 217   2003-08-30   >

Comic #217

1 Terry: Paris was nice, Steve.
1 Steve: Yeah, but it's good to be back home, Terry.
2 Terry: {Cthulhu rears up out of nowhere} Aiiee! Cthulhu followed us!
2 Steve: Oh, g'day. I'd be careful if I was you, mate.
3 Steve: We 'ave salt-water crocs! {saltie approaches Cthulhu, mouth agape}
4 Terry: The croc ate Cthulhu! {croc basking happily in the background}
4 Steve: Yeah! Australia has the most dangerous animals in the world!

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2012-07-09 Rerun commentary: I'm playing on the old joke here, about Australia being full of dangerous animals. As a joke, this is fine, but it annoys me when some people take it seriously and actually remove Australia from their list of places they might realistically want to visit one day, simply because they perceive that as soon as they set foot off the plane they'll be attacked by crocodiles, snakes, sharks, and all manner of other nasty critters.

Actually, I've talked about this before... so I'll abort my rant this time. :-)

Look at the nice sky! It's a blue gradient fill, not the wall behind my desk!

And crocodiles really are very cool. They don't live anywhere near where I live, but a few years ago I took a trip with my wife to the Northern Territory and saw plenty of wild crocodiles. You need to know the difference between freshwater crocs, which eat fish and will flee from humans, and saltwater crocs, which eat fish... and eat humans. This is a wild freshwater croc:

Freshwater crocodile in Katherine Gorge

It's fairly safe to hang around in areas populated by freshies. I saw this one in Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park. And I had a swim in the water, along with several of the other people on the tour boat with us.

This, on the other hand, is a wild saltwater croc:

Lord of the River

I saw this guy on the East Alligator River in Kakadu National Park. It's safe enough being in a small boat on the river, but there is no way in Hell you would have persuaded me to enter the water there. If there are salties in the area, you want to stay a good 5 to 10 metres away from water at all times. They don't move inland, so you're safe as long as you don't go down to the water's edge.

See? Informed caution is all it takes to not get eaten by a wild animal in Australia!

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Last Modified: Monday, 9 July 2012; 03:11:01 PST.
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