Australia is a great place to live and work, to raise kids. Anybody can be anything they want to be if they are prepared to put in the graft to get there. It really is one the world’s great class-less societies.
But….. it’s also the most dangerous country in the world to live!
Seven of the top 10 most venomous snakes in the world live in Australia, and that’s 4 of the top 5! These include the death adder, taipan, tiger snake, eastern brown, king brown, fierce snake and copperhead. Then there are a number of other venomous snakes that don’t rate in the top 10 too! Add to that the large number of non-venomous tree snakes, pythons etc! Don’t get me wrong, the place is not crawling with snakes, but they are here! Half the deaths in Australia are caused by brown snakes.
Then there are the spiders! The funnel-web, mouse , trap-door, red-back and wolf spiders rate in the top ten of the world’s deadliest spiders.
Fancy a swim in the ocean? Think again! The sea is the home of the box-jelly fsh, arguably the most venomous creature in the world, venomous sea snakes and of course, numerous types of sharks varying from harmless to man-eaters.
However, the Australian Saltwater crocodile is by far the most dangerous animals in Australia.
They are huge, aggressive, territorial, and plentiful across the north of the Australian Outback. Australian saltwater crocodiles are the largest reptile in the world in terms of mass they can be up to 2000kg, and the largest crocodile with a confirmed measurement was over 7 metres (21 ft). In real terms anything over 5 metres (15 ft) is rare, but these are still formidable creatures. Female rarely exceed 3 metres (10 ft).
The name saltwater crocodile is misleading. The crocodiles can live in the brackish waters along the coastlines but are just as happy in freshwater rivers, swamps and billabongs many hundreds of kilometres inland. Crocodile attacks DO happen in Australia on a regular basis. Most attacks are on animals and livestock, but unfortunately there also regular incidents involving humans, and about two per year are fatal. These attacks occur because:
- A person stands too close to the waters edge in a known crocodile area.
- Getting between a female crocodile and her nest during breeding season.
- Swimming in known crocodile habitats.
- They become particularly aggressive during breeding season – September to May.
- Being aggravated by people wanting a “good” photograph of them.
- Feeding them. This learned habit is potentiated by crocodile tour operators feeding them for the tourists benefit.
In fairness, it must be added that although there a large number of potentially dangerous animals, spiders and reptiles in Australia, the number of actual human fatalities are rare. Australians, in the main, are aware of the risk(s), and take due precautions when travelling in the bush. Crocodile attacks on humans often occur with overseas tourist who under estimate (or are oblivious to) the risk!
In defence of snakes, fatal bites are very, very rare in Australia and bites are often the fault of the person being bitten. Most bites occur when people are trying to kill a snake or show off. Most snakes would rather slither away from humans than fight them. Snakes don’t perceive humans as food and they don’t aggressively attack things that are not food, unless they are cornered, agitated or attacked. Human fatalities to snake bite are 4-6 annually.