Tag Archive: Australia


It is strange how the smallest of incidents can set one off down a path in life never previously considered. One such incident happened to me back in 2003.

In the pursuit of finding somewhere dry to while away a particularly wet lunchtime hour, I happened into a charity bookshop. Something caught my eye and, whilst pulling it off the shelf, a second book fell out and clattered to the floor. I stooped to pick it up and glanced at the cover; “A Guide to Whales and Dolphins of the World”.

I casually flicked through the pages and spotted a little box halfway down the page devoted to the Indo-Pacific Humpbacked Dolphin. The picture inside the little box showed two bubblegum-pink dolphins breaking through the dark blue waters with a headline proclaiming “Hong Kong’s Pink Dolphins”.

I was intrigued; I’d never heard about dolphins in Hong Kong’s waters and was fascinated to read that the pink colouration did not come from its diet (like the flamingo) but from its over-developed blood vessels that blush through its pale, white skin. At birth, the babies are black, then slowly change to grey and from grey they begin to pinken. All in all, a quite remarkable animal and one I vowed to one day see.

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Written in response to the forthcoming badger cull in the UK (20th April 2013)

On September 12th 1803 the British settled in Tasmania. Over the following decades as more and more settlers arrived, fears of the strange beasts that inhabited their exotic new home quickly spread.

Tall tales, hysteria and superstition saw the thylacine – or Tasmanian tiger – the island’s largest predator, branded as something to be exterminated.

By 1820, Hobart was the second largest town in Australia and shifted its industry away from whaling towards farming.

As the new farmers rapidly cleared and altered the natural environment they viewed the indigenous creatures (and people) merely as an inconvenience to be swept away.

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