TOP SECRET ANIMAL ATTACK FILES
Special Report filed by AAF Correspondent: Scott Tingley
from USA Today
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|Jellyfish and spiders and snakes,
Tuesday, September 19, 2000
The kitchy-coo cuddliness of koalas and wallabies is all very nice, but the hallmark of much of Australian wildlife seems to be an over-the-top ability to kill. Swiftly. While inflicting maximum agony.
The continent is home to:
* More than 160 species of sharks. Though the last fatal shark attack in Sydney Harbour occurred nearly 40 years ago, Games organizers employed divers armed with sonar shark repellers to patrol the triathlon course.
* Eleven of the top 15 most poisonous snakes in the world, including the fierce snake, whose venom is strong enough to kill 200,000 mice. Other charmers on the list include the red-bellied black snake, tiger snake and the western brown and king brown snakes, all found in the Sydney area.
* The funnel web spider, said to be the most poisonous insect in the world. It and its nearly-as-lethal cousin, the redback spider, inhabit the Sydney area.
* The box jellyfish, said to be the most poisonous creature on earth. Fortunately, it sticks to tropical waters far north of Sydney.
* The saltwater crocodile, one of the world's oldest and deadliest reptiles. Their primary residence in Sydney is the Taronga Zoo. Outside the city, says zookeeper Pip Grieg, ''They sit on the bottom of the river and just come up on you. You don't know what hit you, and they do that death roll and you're gone. They stick you under some log and let you rot until you're nice and tender.''