Saturday, March 20, 2010

Picnic amongst the resident wildlife

Rhonda and I took the city-grown grandsons (4 & 7) up to "the camp" at Wyangala.  It was the first time they had stayed overnight in a National Park, let alone slept in an on-site caravan.  It was a quite an experience for them and they enjoyed, immensely, having their own 'Pee Tree' in the shrubbery around the camp. LOL - being cautious on the internet I wont publish any of the 'Pee Tree' activities, nor the 'bathing in a tub outdoors' with water collected in the rainwater tank.

We did go down to a picnic area and had a Barbecue dinner at dusk as the local resident kangaroos moved into the shade at the end of a hot day to'graze and laze'.

As the evening progressed, more of our local 'grasshoppers' joined the group.

As time progressed a couple of young juveniles in the 'Mob' put on a Boxing Kangaroo display.

All of this caused a local Kookaburra (Kingfisher) to have a good laugh at them.

Meanwhile, Rhonda continued to prepare the BBQ hamburgers using the excellent facilities provided while Denny-the-Dog looked on waiting for his 'share' of the goodies on offer and the kids, being kids, took off to play at the play gym adjacent to the picnic area!

Some of the 'locals' came in for a closer look!

While the kids headed over to play on the play gym adjacent to the picnic area.

By the way - Kangaroos come in several varieties in Australia with the largest type over 2 metres in height and they can get quite aggressive at times. This story in today's ABC On-Line News (Australia) demonstrates this.

Kangaroo knocks runner unconscious

ABC News ON-line
Updated 41 minutes ago

A Canberra vet says a kangaroo that attacked and knocked unconscious a man out jogging was probably acting to protect his territory. A 25-year-old man from Macgregor was running during his lunch break on Thursday at Mt Ainslie when he was attacked by a kangaroo.

Canberra vet Michael Archinald says the case does not surprise him.

"They get very territorial at certain times of the year as well, they're protecting their flock," he said. "They get very antsy and of course this guy would have been running and that's quite a threatening thing to a roo and the roo is like, fight or flight, so in it goes."

There are over 60 different species of kangaroo and their close relatives, with all kangaroos belonging to the super family Macropodoidea (or macropods, meaning ‘great-footed’). The super family is divided into the Macropodidae and the Potoroidae families.

Current populations stand around the 25 million mark. This means there are similar numbers of kangaroos in Australia as there are cattle (28.7 million) (ABARE 2002).

The Macropodidae (macropod) family includes kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, pademelons, tree-kangaroos and forest wallabies. Species in the macropod family vary greatly in size and weight, ranging from 0.5 kilograms to 90 kilograms. The Potoroinae (potoroid) family of kangaroos includes the potoroo, bettong and rat-kangaroo, which live only in Australia.

Kangaroos of different types live in all areas of Australia, from cold-climate areas and desert plains, to tropical rainforests and beaches.

Kangaroos are herbivorous, eating a range of plants and, in some cases, fungi. Most are nocturnal but some are active in the early morning and late afternoon. Different kangaroo species live in a variety of habitats.

Kangaroos of all sizes have one thing in common: powerful back legs with long feet. Most kangaroos live on the ground and are distinguished from other animals by the way they hop on their strong back legs. A kangaroo’s tail is used to balance while hopping and as a fifth limb when moving slowly.

When chased by dogs it is not uncommon for kangaroos to enter any available water and wade out until the dog(s) have to swim to them. They then grab the dog with their forearms and push it under water while raising one of its feet, balancing on its tail and other foot, and use their large toe to disembowel the dog(s).

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