Marlie Coleman, Brave Aussie hero!
Girl fights python to save kitten
A SIX-year-old girl became the first female to receive the RSPCA's humane award for saving her kitten from a predatory python.
Marlie Coleman did not think twice about taking on the scrub python when it wrapped its jaws around her kitten Sooty in their Cairns backyard earlier this year.
The sharp-toothed python let go of the kitten, but attached itself to Marlie's lip, hanging on until her mother heard the screams and shook it off.
Her mother, Shakira, remembers seeing Marlie standing on the barbecue with a snake attached to her face, bleeding and sobbing "Snake trying to eat Sooty".
RSPCA Queensland chief executive officer Mark Townend said Marlie's only concern on her way to hospital after the attack was for the kitten.
"The RSPCA does not want to see children place themselves in danger," Mr Townend said.
"However, this little girl, who was only five at the time, showed exceptional bravery.
"Marlie performed a selfless and courageous act on behalf of her kitten friend and she has captured the spirit of animal welfare."
Marlie still bears the scars of her ordeal, while Sooty recovered from minor injuries and the non-venomous python slipped away, never to be seen again.
Marlie was presented with the award at her school today, becoming the first female, youngest person and first Queenslander to receive it.
The RSPCA Australia Humane Award recognises people who have shown courage and risked their personal safety to rescue an animal.
Five men have won the award since 1990 for feats ranging from dragging a dog from a burning house to being hit by a car while rescuing a koala.
Scrub pythons grow to three metres in Cairns and are known to defend themselves by biting with their long, sharp teeth, said Michael O'Brien, wildlife curator at Wild World - The Tropical Zoo.
They prey upon warm-blooded animals such as chickens, small dogs and cats.
Thank God it was nonpoisonous!
This little girl was interviewed on TV - she's a cute little thing, and quite a character too!
My only thoughts about this was - is it really "bravery", or ignorance, in this case? Did the little girl know that the snake wasn't poisonous? Thank goodness it wasn't, or her mother would have been grieving, instead of celebrating.
Bit different to the Queensland toddler who's mother caught him throwing all the baby kittens to the crocodile!
I witnessed an astonishing thing several weeks ago in a rainforest gully a few miles north of my place.
There, just a few feet off the track was a big diamond python curling itself around a very big goanna (lace monitor) The death struggle was amazing to watch and to our complete astonishment, in just a few minutes the python won!
The goannas around here grow pretty big (up to 2.5 meters long, some with bodies as round as a (aussie rules) football and arms as thick as a mans) Most people would rather be bitten by a snake than a goanna. A goannas mouth must be the germ warfare captital of the world. (you'll be three weeks in hospital getting over a goanna bite :(
handy hint: wash any soap off your hands before handling any snakes (soap can burn their skin and make even the mildest reptile bite)
I suppose that almost every instance of bravery could be challenged the same way - that it might be "ignorance" instead. Is the person who comes to the aid of a mugging victim "brave" or "ignorant"?
A few weeks ago I posted a story about a senior woman who rescued a little girl who was being abducted in a shopping mall. Was that woman "brave" or "ignorant"? What if the abductor had a weapon; what if the abductor had a really powerful right hook? The woman couold have taken a half-hour or more to ponder all the "what-ifs" - during which time the abductor would have succeeded in his nefarious deed.
We might also question whether a 5 year old has the judgement skills to be "brave". Personally, I prefer to look at the simple fact that little Marlie TOOK ACTION on behalf of another life that was in peril. Maybe this is one way that we might hope to be more like "little children."
What a spectacle you witnessed!
It was as if you were transported in time to the age of the dinosaurs - those placid, grass eating steamrollers (according to the WTS) whose divine mandate was to compact the earth, preparing it for the arrival of man.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
I was curious about what a goanna looked like, so I found these pictures:
I'm reminded of the MEGALANIA, one of the great ancient "Lizards of Oz" - a giant goanna that grew to be up to 12 feet long and 600 kilos (1320 pounds, 94 stone) in mass.
those look like baby goannas Nathan . lol
i'll start post you some photos of real goannas before too much longer. I have photos of a big one that eats eggs out of my hand and a smaller one (just a bit bigger than the ones in your photos) who i'm training to do tricks - i call him "mikey boy" - he jumps in the air after meat and cheese and stuff. lol The kookaburras, currawongs and other birds don't like me feeding them (they just sit up there kinda shaking their heads in disgust - true)
After years in the city, I just love living in the Australian forest. Old eucalypt forests are full of variety and life. We have some big owls around here and the other night one perched itself on a post just ten feet from where we were sitting, i got up and very slowly walked toward it. It never moved an inch, even when i got to within a few feet. I then slowly reached up and touched it before it flew off. These wild animals are either very smart or very dumb lol. I attended a raptor course a few weeks ago and we got to examine and disect owls and eagles to see how they work. Owls feathers are amazing - at night they often fly right past me but don't make a sound.
I have a small excavator and when i start it up the local kookaburras come from miles away hoping for a feed.
I love your stories of wildlife interactions, UncleBruce, and I envy your close proximity to critters that to me are so exotic. I'm an old city boy, and I was in my 20's before I first looked up to see the Milky Way spread across the sky. (It looked pretty much like the Zeiss Projector in the Haydn Planetarium had shown me.) (The Milky Way is never visible in New York City.) It was about this same time that I first encountered a bear (an adolescent black bear) without the benefit of bars betwixt us, and I learned that I was capable of panic and acting really silly.
I'll be an appreciative audience for any photos of your neighbors that you might be willing to post.