Whenever I stumble upon one of these signs, I reflect upon the fact that these just aren’t a thing in the UK. The ‘thing’ of course in question being dangerous animals. 

Growing up there was never a concern about what animals were hiding in the wilderness. Building dens in the fields, climbing trees, the odd occasion when the weather was nice enough to take a dip in the water… the animals we were on the lookout for as kids were hedgehogs, fieldmice and frogs. The main concern was if the farmer caught us in his truck ruining the crops. This did happen on a couple of occasions. 

I guess I took this for granted. Something I have realised now I am in a country that makes me keep one eye open at all times. Maybe I am being overly cautious, I’m sure locals are a lot more laid back and aware of the probability of a wild encounter. But if anything, going from a very non hostile environment to one that is rife with so many dangerous animals is one of the biggest differences I’ve experienced here. It also makes me thing about life, how scary and unforgiving it can be and that I choose to reject the belief that the many cruel and painful defence mechanisms possessed by these animals were designed intentionally to cause such suffering.

But my question for today is, do you come from a land of friendly or not so friendly creatures? Did you have to be on the look out growing up? Did you or anyone you know feel the effects of a dangerous animals attack first hand? 

Now I realise why living in a very cool climate has its blessings.

31 thoughts

  1. Hey Sam. This is a great post. I have read several articles about the diversity and ferocity of Australia’s wild life. I live in Montana and hike in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Glacier National Park, and other areas that have Grizzly and other types of bears, wolves, rattlesnakes, mountain lions, etc. I have hiked hundreds of miles and have been blessed to not encounter any of the aforementioned creatures in a negative way. I do carry bear spray at all times in the wilderness. And I have come upon steaming grizzly scat on a couple occasions. I think that the key thing is to be bear aware or creature aware. Hiking smart and being prepared. I love being out on the trail and I know that I am a guest in the territories of these animals. So stay alert and with a little bit of luck you won’t run into anything that will cause any serious damage. -Jill

    1. Cheers Jill, as scary as these creature are that you mentioned, they are amazing! I would sure be on the look out whilst hiking there. I haven’t heard of this bear spray before, but if I ever head to an area with bears I will be sure to take it!

      1. Bear spray is in essence, mace for bears. Was hiking last weekend and got a picture of a bear track that was as big as my hiking boot. Didn’t see any bears and had a great day on the trail! Enjoy the Adventure!

  2. Hi Sam, I guess growing up in this country we do take it a bit for granted, that’s just life in Australia that we have to share with some critters that have some pretty serious defences. I think we all have that little voice in the back of our minds that know when to be extra careful but BOY don’t the incredible environments we have far outweigh the chances of any bad encounters happening! I have had to stop in my tracks when bush walking to let a snake have right of way, but providing you treat these animals with respect they will just go about their business and so do we. Saying that, give me koalas and kangaroos any day!

    1. It’s all cutesy and cuddles, until a koala drops from a tree and rips your face off!

      1. It sounds like it liked Glenys! But I don’t know enough about them (or Glenys) to know for sure haha

    2. I would most certainly give the snake the right of way! But yes, this country is too beautiful to not explore, I am happy to take the associated risks 🙂

  3. I’m not sure if their cruel and painful defense mechanisms are designed to cause suffering, but rather they are designed for simple survival. Being a native I too proceed with caution in certain areas. I feel very sorry for the dangerous animals that are killed whilst humans invade their territory. Wouldn’t it be great if there was one universal language between all creatures? 🙂

    1. Yeah it’s more of a survival mechanism than simply because they are evil I guess haha. It would certainly be interesting to know what they are saying, but I’m not sure I want to know what some animals think of us…

  4. We have to be on the lookout for bears, cougars and wolves here, but I think it’s the small, dangerous creatures that would make me nervous because I wouldn’t know if they were there.

  5. I grew up in Brisbane, going to beaches all the time, the bush, the rainforest at Mt Tamborine. Yes we got some leeches on us there, but you just wiped them off. I never saw a shark or a snake, spiders are harmless. Jeez I can’t believe the hype you’ve bought into! We did go to Proserpine when I was 9 (in 1962) and admittedly the cane toads and elephant beetles were a bit scary. But then there’s a lot more scary things in the world as it is at the moment. Maybe you should watch the world news, you probably haven’t seen it for a while. 🙂

    1. I think the UK (any many parts of the world) enjoy thinking of Australia as a country full of dangerous animals. It’s almost a stereotype like England’s association with fish and chips. Now I’ve been here, I know that it isn’t as scary as I first thought, and that if anything my phobias have been reduced significantly.

  6. I live in an area without really any dangerous creatures. I think 2 types of snakes are the biggest risk, but I’ve never seen either of them. I’ve often wondered if people who live in Australia encounter many of the dangerous creatures I’ve heard of that live there like spitting cobras and salt water crocodiles.

    1. Well in Sydney many people hadn’t seen such animals just because of how urban it is. But now even working on a farm, some of the farmers haven’t seen many animals. I saw two snakes in two days recently and one of the farmers said that’s the most he’s seen in in consecutive days!
      So even when you are in an area that is rife for these kinds of animals, finding them can still be difficult.

  7. I grew up in Sydney and the thing that freaked me out the most growing up was cockroaches that could fly. OMG. What is this sorcery?!

    Look I’m aware of what kind of creatures live around me, but I must admit I don’t put myself in a position where I’m around many of them. If I were more if a camper or more outdoorsy I feel like it would be my responsibility to know which snakes and spiders are venomous, as well as a few more safety tips. Some things look quite menacing but are actually not dangerous, and vice versa.

    1. I know what you mean about flying cockroaches! I didn’t know this was a thing either. As I mentioned in a previous comment, my phobia for insects that are harmless has reduced since being here. I work around many huge spiders and because I know they aren’t life threatening, I don’t mind. I also appreciate the beauty of these animals a lot more!

  8. Mosquitoes. Always the mosquitoes. You eventually develop coping mechanisms involving being covered up completely in 40 degrees… phew!
    But then, with college coming up, I don’t know where I might be in the fall– I may just end up missing all this!

    1. Mosquitos are very annoying. But I haven’t been affected as much in the last couple weeks… I’m not sure if this has to do with the winter kicking in or I’m just getting used to them!

  9. Are you originally from the UK but moved to Australia then?

    I guess I live in a pretty friendly environment (coming from the UK) so I have never really come across a hostile creature or been in a situation where I feared so much of one. I do realise though that I’m very lucky to not have to worry about such contact.

    1. That’s right, I’m from Newcastle but moved over to Australia to do a working holiday visa and travel the country. We Brits are very lucky that we don’t have many things to worry about in the wild other than the occasional ‘chav’!

    1. Oh wow! I am sorry to hear, I love the farm dogs we see every day at work 🙁 I have seen three snakes in two weeks, thankfully no brown snakes. Yet…

  10. You should not be afraid, Australia is an interesting country with many native species, actually it has a particular ecosystem…Maybe I am a little bit naive, but you are lucky because you can see most of its beauties.

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