We see a lot of strange things in airports around the world. But a kangaroo in the airport pharmacy?
At Australia’s Melbourne airport, an injured kangaroo made its way into a pharmacy, surprising travelers. It then received care, after being tranquilized and turned over to a veterinarian.
The area is frequented by kangaroos, so it’s not unusual to see them around the airport. But how “Cyrus” the hopping would-be air traveler made it into the Qantas Airways domestic terminal is still unknown.Unlike the 9 year-old who made it past security and on to Las Vegas-bound flight, Cyrus the kangaroo never breached airport security. Thoughts that this was a publicity stunt by Qantas Airlines (the airline with kangaroo on their tail) are apparently false.
It seems that animal smuggling has become the trendy thing lately. Just in the past month a man was nabbed at LAX smuggling lizards, and another man was arrested in Norway smuggling pythons. Both of these guys had wrapped up the critters and strapped them to their chest.
Now a man in Indonesia has been arrested for smuggling kangaroos. Since roos are a wee bit too big to tie to one’s body, especially when there’s ten of them, he made the logical choice of smuggling them by boat. That didn’t stop him from getting caught, though. Initial reports state the animals were red kangaroos, a protected species from New Guinea. Five were dead at the time the man was arrested.
The international trade in protected and endangered species is a lucrative business. All of the animals in the incidents mentioned would have fetched large sums of money on the black market. It seems customs officials have more to look out for than drugs, bombs, and bottles of water.
The smuggler faces up to five years in prison. The surviving kangaroos have been given to an animal sanctuary.
Kangaroos just don’t look that threatening. Perhaps it’s because they carry their offspring in a pouch. Or the fact they move around by hopping up and down. But if you think kangaroos don’t have a mean streak in them, you’d be wrong. One night when you least expect it, clandestine marsupials will come smashing through your bedroom window, ready to terrorize you and everything you care about. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
It’s a lesson Australian couple Beat Ettlin and Verity Beaman recently learned the hard way. The couple, who live in the suburb of Canberra with their two children, were fast asleep recently when they were awakened by the sound of their dogs barking. Suddenly a dark silhouette burst through their bedroom window, shattering glass everywhere and landing on the bed.
By the time the startled Beat and Verity had realized the rogue intruder was a kangaroo, the frightened animal had crushed one side of their bed and smeared blood up and down the family’s hallway, terrifying the family’s two young children. In a fit of valor, Mr. Ettlin pounced on the six-foot tall kangaroo from behind, wrestling it to the floor and dragging it out the family’s front door.
The whole scene is best summed up in Mr. Ettlin’s own words: “I thought it was a lunatic ninja coming at us through the window.” Thankfully this particular ninja did not come equipped with deadly throwing stars or nunchucks. Just a furry pouch.
Recently I posted a story about a traveller from Australia that was accused of swearing on a SkyWest flight to Pittsburgh. Her supposed crime was to utter the true blue Aussie phrase “Fair Dinkum” in response to being told the serious news that the plane’s supply of pretzels had expired. Of course it’s not swearing, but just a bit of Downunder idiom meaning “Seriously?” or “For real?”
In an effort to make sure new immigrants to the land of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Fosters lager can hit the ground running linguistically and culturally, the Australian government has announced plans for a new citizenship test that will probe potential immigrants’ knowledge of Australian culture and history. Maybe the Aussies could organise an exchange programme with the culturally-challenged inflight team fromSkyWest.
There’s no word yet if the Bush administration is going to ask newcomers to the Land of the Free if they can locate “The Iraq” on a map.
News via the BBC.