Australia is well known for its unique wildlife. Everyone loves koalas and kangaroos. Unfortunately, there are other species which can really hurt, or even kill you. I don’t want to scare you, far from it! Know what to find there, and you’ll be right.
Crocodiles, Box Jellyfishes (Sea Wasps) and Stonefishes
Australia’s beautiful beaches and coastal areas inhabit some of the most dangerous Australian animals.
- The Box Jellyfish or Sea Wasp causes more deaths than snakes, salt water crocodiles and sharks together. It is abundant on the northerly tropical coastlines during the Australian summer. Sea Wasps fire an extremely powerful venom when you come in contact with them.
- Saltwater Crocodiles or Estuarine Crocodiles live in rivers and freshwater swamps on the coastline in northerly Australia. Salties grow up to 5 m, some exemplars get even a bit bigger. They have powerful jaws that won’t give you any chance to escape once they have grabbed you. Salties are the world’s largest reptiles. They are saved in Australia.
- The Stonefish can be found among rocks in shallow waters on beaches and islands north of the Tropic of Capricorn. Its venomous spines release a toxin that causes severe pain and shock.
How to avoid trouble and first aid
- Obey the signs that warn you about Saltwater Crocodiles and the Box Jellyfish along rivers and beaches.
- Wear shows while walking in water on stony beaches and coral islands.
- Vinegar inactivates the stinging cells of the Box Jellyfish and should be poured over the tentacles before you remove them from a victim.
- Bath the stung area of Stonefish stings in hot water to reduce the pain.
Transport victims to infirmary as soon as possible. Antivenom for Stonefish and Box Jellyfish is available.
Australian snakes and spiders
Snakes and spiders ar found all over Australia, in the cities and the Outback. There are a few snakes species supposed to be the most venomous in the world. Unless feeling trapped, snakes and spiders won’t “attack” humans. Leave them alone, and they won’t do you any harm.
How to prevent snake bites?
- Most snake bites happen due to silly behaviour. Don’t provoke them, don’t try to catch or kill a snake.
- Wear socks and boots when walking in high grass.
- Don’t lift large rocks and dead wood.
- When you see a snake, stamp your feet and let is slither away.
First aid for snake bites
- Don’t cut the wound, don’t wash it either.
- Don’t put ice on the wound.
- Immediately apply a pressure immobilisation patch as you would do to treat a sprained ankle. The bandage slows down the movement of the venom. But don’t make it too firm. The patch shouldn’t stop the blood flow, and should stay in place until a doctor looks after the victim.
First aid for wanderer bites
- Spider bites by big black spiders should be treated as funnel web bites. Apply a pressure immobilization bandage. Seek medical advice as soon as possible. Antivenom is available.
- Redback spider bites ar painful. Apply an ice pack to relieve the pain. Antivenom is available but only given if the pain consists, and/or symptoms like headache and nausea develop.
Now that you know a little about the dangerous Australian wildlife, do you feel better prepared? I really hope so. Please do ne’er forget, the risk of acquiring hurt in a car accident is much higher than being hurt by any Australian animal. Be careful, but don’t worry too much.
Enjoy Australia’s unique wildlife.