A truck full of tortoises and a truck full of terrapins collided. It was a turtle disaster.
These questions were supposedly posted on an Australian tourism website. The answers are alleged to be the actual responses given by the tourism organisation’s staff, who obviously have a great sense of humour, and a rather low opinion of people who ask silly questions.
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA) *
A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it’s only four thousand kilometres, take lots of water.
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle-shaped continent south of Europe.
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not… Oh, forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is north in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is… Oh, forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)
A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first.
* “Kangaroos in the street” is a standing joke in Australia. In fact, catching sight of one hopping along an urban street is as likely as seeing the Titanic complete its maiden voyage. Having said that, however, I was very surprised one morning to see a young kangaroo in the main street of my small town. It was around five or six am, so there was very little traffic. The kangaroo looked rather lost, and I was working so I didn’t have time to hang around to see what happened. There are lots of kangaroos around here, and it’s easy to see them in the bush and even on the road in a particular spot just out of town (I’ve actually driven slowly behind a small one because it hadn’t learned to move off the road when traffic came along). That’s the only time I’ve ever seen one in town, though.
“The scientific name for an animal that doesn’t either run from or fight its enemies is lunch.”
~ Michael Friedman
This dramatic rescue, captured by wildlife photographer Jean-François Lagrot, took place in Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya. Despite their protected status in the park, day-to-day life for lions is not without its dangers … as this cub learned the hard way.
A friend sent me an email which included most of the photos shown here, as well as commentary on what was happening in them. Information junkie that I am, I decided to try find the story’s origin and some information about the photographer. I found the story on several news sites and numerous blogs, but had trouble tracking down the photographer until I realised that most of the websites (and some of the watermarked photos) had his name wrong.
The story seems to have first come to light on September 26 2011, although one article said it took place in August. The spot where the cub fell is variously described as a cliff, a ravine, and a river gully, and some writers waxed lyrical in their telling of the story. The photos are displayed here in the order used by Zambezi Safaris Blog (where the writer took a more circumspect approach).
All photos copyright © Jean-François Lagrot / SAX ROHMER LTD
Jean-François and Isabelle Lagrot are veterinary surgeons, conservationists and photographers with a passion for rare and endangered species. They have travelled the world in search of these, and have published a number of books documenting their work.