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Death Downunder
By Eirik Bloodaxe

Just a footnote to my article the other day about the guy who punched the kangaroo. Some readers asked about the authenticity of a man fighting one, unarmed. James gave the right reply here. All the matches depicted on film and in literature are much like your man vs bear matches – setups with relatively tame animals.

The full-grown male roo, is generally timid and bounds away when confronted. On my property as night falls, I go out the back to have a piss and watch the stars rise. The roos come down to the river to drink and eat the green grass around the banks. They bound over a 4-foot barbed wire fence effortlessly. The roos has leg muscles as thick as two human legs, and all fast twitch muscles. Over short distances, they can race cars. They have front claws often reaching 3-4 inches long and frequently gut dogs.

And, the roo is tough. My mate was driving to Western Australia, and on the Nullarbor, a vast desert wasteland (,hit a roo which smashed in the front of his car. The roo was stunned for a moment, and then got up and bounced off. Fortunately, his car still worked, narrowly missing the radiator, otherwise if no other driver came by he would be stranded in heat rivalling Death Valley. A few people die in the region each year, not packing adequate water.

Not only are roos to be treated with respect, but even pissing little furry things like koalas, have huge fuckin’ claws, enabling them to climb trees. On the ground, I have seen stupid dogs attack them, only to have their faces ripped apart.

Even emus, a big dopey flightless bird, can be dangerous. They are the second largest bird in the world, and can reach almost 100 pounds and stand up to 75 inches in height:

While out hunting back in 1992, I ran into a huge aggressive bird, probably bigger than the norm. He would have been almost 7 feet height and probably 120 pounds at least. He decided to attack. Fortunately, I had a Mini-14 with me. Shooting such birds is illegal, and I dealt with the attack by firing rounds to the left and right of him. He skidded to a halt and carefully examined the ground. The 5.56 m rounds to the right had hit a rock and shattered it, blowing fragments up into the bird’s feathers. He looked at the rock and then his chest, and turned around and quietly walked away. The intelligence of this creature impressed me, as the creature had engaged in a threat assessment and decided that the fucker with the gun was just not worth the risk of an injury. No human would defeat such a creature unarmed, and even with melee weapons such as a spear, they would have a real fight on their hands, because the bird, although flightless, can still jump at one and a pick like a digging machine. One could lose an eye with one pick.

Apart from the obvious danger of snakes, and poisonous red back spiders everywhere (if I was not wearing gloves when cleaning the shed yesterday, when one decided to bite me, I may not be writing this today), our animals are deceptively vicious, which makes the place dangerous because one is lulled into complacency. Give me American brown bears any day!

Look, we are so fucked here that poisonous spiders even feature in iconic songs:

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