“Crikey is that a roo!” that’s just one animal you will see when you visit Australia. When you visit Australia, you won’t just go to see the animals, or hunt them, but that’s probably what I would do. So if you aren’t interested in that, I wouldn’t stick around.
If you don’t want to hear about hunting animals, I could tell you about a man that helped them. Steve Irwin was a wildlife expert. His nickname was “The Crocodile Hunter”. He hosted multiple TV shows about wildlife. These were shown in over 150 countries. He handled crocodiles, poisonous snakes, and other dangerous animals with his bare hands. His trademark exclamation was “Crikey”. He was the director of the Australia Zoo in Beerwah. He promoted wildlife conservation and tourism. His parents were naturalists and founded the Beerwah Reptile Park in 1970. He grew up feeding and caring for the animals in the park. In 1991 he took over the park. On Steve’s honeymoon he and his wife went crocodile trapping. This was filmed and was the root for his TV series “The Crocodile Hunter” where he captured and relocated crocodiles to less populated areas. He was killed on Sept. 4, 2006 when a stingray barb punctured his chest. The zoo is now owned by his wife and he has a memorial statue located in Mooloolaba.
Now if you want to go to try to find fossils of an amazing animal or maybe even the last know of its kind, I suggest Australia. There was or is an animal that did or does live there today. It is called the Tasmanian Tiger. This animal only lived or lives on the island of Tasmania. It used to be a big animal of Australia. Most scientists believe that it is extinct. Europeans used to kill them because they thought that they killed their sheep or poultry. The last known Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936. The scientific name for this animal is “Thylacines”. It was 5ft with an additional 20in tail. It had short gray or yellowish-brown fur with dark stripes across the rear of its back. It was part of the marsupial family. The female’s carried their young in a pouch just like all other marsupials except for one thing, the pouch was backwards. Instead of opening to the front it opened to the back. The female carried the young in this pouch until they fully developed. It was also the only member of the Thylacinidae family, which are Thylacinus Cynocephalus.
Now for my favorite part, the overall animals and the plants. The best-known plant in Australia is the Gum Tree (Eucalyptus) or the Wattle plant. Both of these can grow anywhere except the driest deserts. Over half of Australia’s native animals are marsupials (Koalas, Tasmanian Devils, Possums, Bandicoots, Wombat, etc). There is 45 different species of kangaroo. The Red Kangaroo can jump as high as 20ft and can run 40mph. Even though the Tasmanian devil is the size of a small dog, it can kill animals to big as a sheep. There are two animals that are called Monotremes. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs and care for their young. These two animals are the Duck-Billed Platypus and the Echidna. These two animals are the only living Monotremes and are native to Australia. It’s said that one of the fiercest and most powerful predator of Australia is the Dingo, or wild dog. Over the years, disease and destruction of habitat have brought the population of Koalas to about 400,000.
Well if that’s that then I should get on my way. Exploring Australia may be a little more time consuming than I expected, maybe even more then this assignment. I hope you could join me one day in visiting this great country. Crikey! Is that a Tasmanian Tiger, off we go.
Encyclopedia -Steve Irwin- World Book Student, Steve Irwin
Encyclopedia —Tasmanian Tiger- World Book Student, Michael L. Augee
Book -Animals- Australia (book title), Geography Department, (Publisher) Learner Publication Company