There are still places where no man has gone before
If you find yourself in Brisbane, do not forget to visit the “Lone Pine Sanctuary”. Here you will meet with a kangaroo and a platypus, about which it is impossible to say for sure whether he is a beast or a bird. But most attracted to the koala. The most amusing animal! Snoozing in an embrace with eucalyptus in its silvery leaves. I woke up and deftly scratched my big fluffy ear, also silver, with a fluffy paw. He entertained the audience and immediately fell asleep again. With a complacent expression, that is, faces.
Saying goodbye to Queensland, tourists stock up on various souvenirs worth “from the ruble and above.” Serious collectors-numismatists are attracted to coins from the series “Discover Australia”. Cooktown Orchid – A beautiful purple flower that grows on stones and trees, is the emblem of Queensland. Her color image can also be seen on a platinum coin in denominations of 15 Australian dollars.
A gold coin of the same denomination is dedicated to the marine, or rather, the saltwater crocodile. This honor was awarded to the largest on Earth (up to 9 meters long) and a very dangerous reptile, found off the coast of Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Solomon Islands. Hunting animals of this species is prohibited by law, however, in 1997, the indigenous inhabitants of the continent received the right to hunt adults. It is believed that the population of these animals has grown too much, reaching about one hundred thousand. But this is far from the “crocodiles of Gena” …
Tasmania, the only state of Australia located on the island, was named after its discoverer, the Dutch navigator Abel Tasman. He came across this piece of land in 1642, but the island was originally named differently – Van Dymen Land – in honor of the governor of East India, who sent a research expedition led by Tasman. Subsequently, one of the largest prisons for convicts, Port Arthur, was created on the island.
For the authorities at that time, Van Diemen’s Land was just a colony that was easy to guard, and for prisoners, on the threshold of hell. The living conditions here were difficult. For half a century, Port Arthur served as an example of the effectiveness of the prison system, which was also very inventive. It was here that corporal punishment was replaced by imprisonment in soundproof cells. Although the island was renamed in 1856, there are still objects that recall its dramatic past. Today, the ruins of the Port Arthur penitentiary prison are one of the main attractions of the island.
In the tropical rainforests on the west coast of Tasmania, places are still preserved where the human foot has never stepped. Therefore, part of the island was included in the list of “World Heritage Sites”. In the late 1980s, a series of stamps was released in Australia dedicated to representatives of the local fauna that are facing extinction. Controversial is the brand with the image of the famous Tasmanian tiger, which is sometimes called the marsupial wolf.
Tilacin, or the Tasmanian marsupial wolf, it is a zebra-shaped possum, it is also a “Tasmanian tiger” – one of those rare animals that a person surrounds with a halo of mystery and seeks to get at any cost. True, the current interest in this beast is somewhat late, since it is most likely posthumous. As far as is known, the last representative of this type of the largest marsupial cats (up to 90 centimeters in length) died in the Zoo in Hobart in 1933.
Since then, in Tasmania, sometimes rumors arose, similar to legends, that someone somewhere, they say, saw this animal alive. But there is no documentary evidence. As it often happens, unfortunately, happens, the Tasmanian wolf was taken under the protection of law in Australia only in 1936 – three years after it officially registered the disappearance of the whole species. Nowadays, scientists would give a lot to get if not a couple of live exhibits, then at least stuffed animals or skins of these animals.
The interest of the scientific community is spurred by the periodic appearance of reports that the Tasmanian wolf allegedly caught the eye of individuals. In order to verify this information, the Australian branch of the International Fund for Wildlife Lovers organized two expeditions. Scientists literally combed the island, armed with cameras and movie cameras that work in automatic mode and are able to shoot in the dark using an infrared device. This equipment was left, disguised, in the places of the probable appearance of animals for a month or more.
The results so far obtained have not put an end to doubts. Some of the cameras located in 17 possible habitats of tilacin captured nine species of local animals, including rare ones, on 420 photographs. However, traces of tilacin have not yet been found. Nevertheless, the search for the mysterious animal continues.
But traces of Australian Aborigines in Tasmania are no longer being sought – they have been plundered before the root of the Tasmanian wolf. In 1986, archaeologists discovered 15 cave paintings painted in red in one of the caves on the island.