Category Archives: Animals
This is the brushtail possum family that lives in my backyard. When baby possums get too big for their mum’s pouch but not big enough to leave home, their mum carries the youngster around on her back. I personally think that junior is pushing her luck and might be a bit too big to be carted around all the time. They are funny, intelligent and sweet little animals and I greatly enjoy sharing my living space with them.
I adopted Indiana at the beginning of April from the RSPCA. He is an 18 month old Balinese X who was abused and neglected by his previous owners. Eventually, Indy found his way to the RSPCA Fairfield shelter were I do volunteer work in the call centre. A couple of people were interested in him and one even had him on hold but he contracted cat-flu from the shelter (no matter how strict the RSPCA is with hygiene, these sorts of diseases flourish in shelters and pounds because most of the animals that find their way into the shelters and pounds are not vaccinated and are not well-looked after). Suddenly nobody wanted him again. Except for me.
You see, when I adopted a different at the beginning of last year, she was an undiagnosed cat-flu cat. I had no idea she had cat-flu as she was not sneezing, her eyes weren’t weepy, her nose wasn’t runny, no mouth ulcers. I brought her home were she passed on cat-flu to my fully vaccinated Rupert.
So from now on, I should only ever adopt cat-flu kitties for fear of one of my cats passing on the disease to a healthy kitty. Which brings me back to Indy. I had my eye on him from the start because a cat like him stands out in a shelter full of moggies (which I also love). But, alas, as he was perfectly healthy, I could not adopt him. But in a twist of fate, he caught cat-flu and became mine.
The RSPCA insists on property checks and interviews before allowing someone to adopt an animal that is known to have suffered abuse and/or neglect. So after my interview I had to wait a day before I got my property check – I passed both with flying colours. Now, without any further ado, allow me to introduce my wonderful, funny, energetic, boof-headed, beautiful blue-eyed boy, Indy.
Today’s feathery friend is the beautiful Brolga.
- The brolga is a type of crane who live in the wetlands of Australia, a part of New Guinea and can even sometimes be found in New Zealand
- The average height of an adult brolga is 1.3 metres
- Adult brolgas are silvery-grey with bright scarlet heads
- Brolgas stay with the same mate for their entire life
- It is thought that brolgas have a lifespan of about 7 years in the wild
- Brolgas are reknowned for their intricate and involved courtship dance
- Brolgas build nests that are large mounds or platforms in the wetlands that they live in and these nests can be up to 1.5 metres in diameter, with both parent helping to construct it
- The female lays a clutch of 2 eggs which both parents help to incubate
- Brolgas do not migrate but they do relocate in accordance to the rain
- Whilst not endangered, brolga numbers are dwindling due to loss of habitat and climate change
There are many different cultural variations on how the brolga was created, but all have a similar theme. Here is one of them:
Brolga was once a beautiful girl who loved to dance and she was the most graceful and elegant dancer that had ever lived. One day she danced away from the safety of her tribe and an evil spirit saw her. The evil spirit wanted her for himself so he turned himself into a willywilly (whirlwind) and engulfed Brolga and swept her up. Brolga’s tribe had noticed her missing and had come looking for her. They follwed the track of the willywilly for many days until they finally came across the evil spirit holding Brolga captive. Brolga’s tribespeople rushed to attack the spirit and free her and the evil spirit quickly realised Brolga’s tribe would overpower him and take Brolga from him. He was angry and jealous and decided that if he could not have Brolga all to himself then noone could have her ever. The evil spirit swept Brolga up in another willywilly so that her tribe could no longer see her. The tribe watched the willywilly rush off into the distance and noticed that where Brolga had been there was now a lovely, tall grey crane. The crane started to dance and Brolga’s tribe knew that the crane was Brolga.
For more Dreamtime stories and beautiful artwork – Dreamtime Kullilla Art
I really like animals. In fact, I love ’em. Even the ones I am scared of. But there are a few animals that have really captured a very special place in my heart (fruit bats, red pandas, quolls, cheetahs etc). This absolutely fantastic creature is one of them:
Dugong (pronounced dew-gong)
- Dugongs are marine mammals that live only in tropical coastal waters, never venturing into freshwater
- Dugongs are related to manatees but their closest relation, Stellar’s Sea Cow was hunted into extinction
- The dugong’s habitat includes both the Indian and Pacific oceans
- Australia has the world’s highest dugong population
- Dugongs diet almost exclusively on seagrass which grows in shallow, tropical marine waters (seagrass can only grow in shallow water because it needs lots of sunlight to photosynthesize and sunlight can only penetrate water down to a certain depth)
- Dugongs become sexually reproductive between the ages of 9 -17, have a gestation period of over a year and have 1 calf every 3 -7 years
- Dugongs can live up to 70 years
- I wish I was a dugong
- Dugongs are slow swimmers and have poor eyesight but they posess excellent hearing and sense of smell
- Dugongs have a fluked tail, like whales and dolphins
- It is thought their natural predators (excluding humans) are large sharks, saltwater crocodiles and orcas
- Dugongs are harmless (unless you are a piece of seagrass)
- Dugongs are classified as endangered
- Loss of habitat, fishing and shark nets, pollution (especially oil spills) and over-hunting are huge threats to the dugong’s survival
- Dugong’s used be sighted in large herds, over 100 strong, but are now rarely seen in groups larger than 6
- Because of their tendency to live in shallow water dugongs are in danger of being struck by boats
- The dugong’s low reproductive rate means that it takes a very long time for dugong population to grow, even in ideal and supportive conditions
- For more information on the wonderful and beautiful dugong please go to:
And for a fun, silly and not quite factually incorrect (dugongs are NOT also known as manatees) dugong song go here