Matt D
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Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Australian Animals

Fri Nov 17, 2000 3:02 am

I'm not interested in the man eating sharks, or the venomous reptiles, both of which Australia has an overabundance of, I'm referring more to some of the more bizarre native critters. Have any of you Aussies seen them? What do you think of them? What would be my chances of getting one if it can be tamed?

First oddity that comes to mind is the platypus. I've seen pictures of it. This freak of nature apparently is a mammal, but has webbed feet, a duckbill, and lays eggs. Are they real eggs that hatch like chicken eggs? If so, then how can it be a mammal? Are they or can they be tamed?

How about the Koala? I've heard that they can be tamed, but aren't very bright, and have a tendancy to bite. Are they as "cute and cuddly" as stuffed animal toy makers would have us believe?

Is the Tasmanian devil as mean and vicous as portrayed?

Do any of you have Dingo dogs for pets? CAN they become house dogs?

I've heard that kangaroos are too big to be pets, and one kick from their clawed hoof or paw can kill a man instantly, but that the smaller wallabies make good pets. Is this true or have I soaked up more fiction?

RE: Australian Animals

Fri Nov 17, 2000 4:54 am

The Tasmanian Devil is extinct. I have heard the koala can either bite or be a bit nasty. But that is not common. Generally they are fine, as many thousands of tourists get their pic taken every year with them.

I don't know anything about the platypus eggs. I think it is illeagle to keep a dingo as a pet.

I've seen a kangaroo in it's natural enviroment. As for successfully keeping it s a pet, if it was from a baby (joey) your success rate would be greater. Illeagle to keep a kangaroo as well, unless for a temporary reason (as in a wild life keeper) then you need a permit. I don't think any native animals can be kept legally as pets.

There are Wildlife Keeper courses here, that I am going to get around to doing. What that enables you to do is care for sick or injured wildlife, until they are better, then release them back into nature. (you have to live on some acerage though usually, and I don't just yet. But I will be.)

You forgot about our Wombats. They are slow moving, and like to live in logs. My children, years ago saw either a blue tongued lizard or a frilled neck lizard here in the yard.

Kookaburras ( a bird) tend to sit on clothes lines. You don't see them a lot.

Maybe some of our other Aussies on the board can tell you more.


RE: Australian Animals

Fri Nov 17, 2000 5:50 am

The Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine, is extinct (the last known died in captivity in 1933). The Tasmanian devil is still very much in existence.

Tasmanian devil

Tasmanian tiger (Thylacine)

The Tasmanian Devil being a nocturnal marsupial is very rarely seen in the wild. Most people see them in the various zoos. They are the size of a small, well-built dog (e.g. Staffordshire Terrier), and do have a bad-temper if provoked, and have been known to feed on sheep on farms.

The platypus is one of only two egg-laying monotremes in the world (the other being the echidna). A monotreme being an egg-laying mammal. A marsupial is defined as an animal which carry it's young in a pouch, so most of the Australian native animals are in fact marsupials, not mammals. The laying of a platypus' eggs are more like a lizards. It wouldn't be possible to tame a platypus, for the fact that behind each rear limb are poisonous spurs, which the males use to jab a competitor. They do give a nasty effect to humans as well.

Koala's do have a tendency to bite, but it is possible to tame them if they are young. You wouldn't want to go near an adult male koala in the wild. Not only do they have a bite, but their claws are quite long and sharp as well.

It is very possible to tame dingo's....just keep them away from your baby , but again only from a young age.

Isn't he just the cutest thing you have seen? And the dingo ain't half bad either! 

The wombat doesn't live in logs. It digs burrows in the ground which is where they live and breed. The most famous wombat would have to be "Fatso, the Fat Arsed Wombat"

Kangaroos are generally timid by nature, and in the wild are afraid of humans. Having said that, male red kangaroos during mating season are quite "vicious" and they have been known to attack humans (and their kicks can kill). But, the people who I sold my house to (in the suburbs) had a full-grown male "Big Red", which they reared from a joey, and all it does it sit around all day in the sun. The sound they make is BOING, partly because of the spring when they "hop", but also because that is the noise they make when they bounce of your 4WDs roo bar 

Kookaburra's, as Windsong said, you don't see a lot, but walking thru the bush you can sure as hell here them. Having said that, for the last year I have had a daily visit from a kookaburra which comes and sits on my front lawn waiting for a feed of mince. Only just recently has it let me anywhere near it.

The native animal I have a lot of respect for would have to be the goanna; ever since I was chased by one in the Bungles Bungles whilst out camping. They grow to about 1.75 m in length, and when they run, boy do they build up some speed.

Other native animals include the quokka (only found on Rottnest Island, 15km off Perth), numbat (only found in SW WA), bilby, quoll, cassowary, jabiru, emu, wallaby, cockatoo, budgerigar, and so on and so on.

It is illegal to keep any native animal without a permit, but the authorities turn a blind eye with cockies, budgies, and some other native birds. There is a roaring illegal export trade in native birds, where a pair of sulphur-crest cockatoos can fetch up to US$15,000 in Japan.

You can find out more on native animals at

Come to think of it the only native animal you are legally allowed to keep in captivity without a permit is a bunyip

RE: Australian Animals

Fri Nov 17, 2000 6:02 am

Cool pics!

Oops on the Tasmanian Devil/Tiger. I was posting very early, and was still tired. That's my excuse anway  

Actually, aren't you 2 hours earlier Brissie?OMG that makes it ---!!!!!!!!!!

And you make such good sense at that hour of the day. Me, I'm still tired.

RE: Australian Animals

Fri Nov 17, 2000 6:07 am

Wombats like to SLEEP in logs. Yesssss they do.

As for the guy in the pic, pfftt, you can have him.

RE: Australian Animals

Fri Nov 17, 2000 7:50 am

Nice pictures and great informations, Brissie.  
I think the sun has a very special light for Australia, it seems to be always an early afternoon.
Hope to be there one day and see more about it´s Flora and Fauna.

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