I think this is a typical case where emotions are starting to run high,
where everyone pulls a few bad experiences from the back of their memory,
with the only result being to potentially scare of would-be visitors to the
area. I have spent a few months in the NT in '96 and yes, there are a few
weirdos around but you find them anywhere. Generally I had a great time and
found people very friendly. And believe me I've done some bushbashing over
there. Besides, you as a resident may end up in places tourists or other
visitors - even birdwatchers - never get to. In view of the character of
this mailing list I don't see what your point is mentioning what happened to
someone that met someone that heard from someone else, or whatever. I think
when birding, common sense should prevail, and anyone going birding in or
near potentially "suspect" places should keep an eye open for what's
happening around them in order to avoid possible problems.
I hope we can soon put an end to this subject - there are far more
interesting issues to discuss.
>I for one am glad that you shared your and your colleagues' experiences.
>Unfortunately people who've not been in this situation often do not
>understand the risks. I've been a resident of the Top End for 25 years,
>much of that spent in the bush, and apart from my own experiences, have
>heard many similar tales, some from the police, some from men I used to
>shoot with. Okay, some might be exaggerations but I've had too many
>rifles waved in my face to take such stories lightly. And marihuana
>plantations are not the only problem. A friend recently met a man
>charged with running into and killing an elderly couple changing a tyre
>on the side of the road about fifty km out of Darwin. He boasted of how
>he was 'off (his) face' on drugs and that he was driving on the wrong
>side of the road and without lights 'to scare (his) mate'. His attitude
>to the deaths? He told my friend he 'had done the world a favour by
>getting rid of a couple of old fogeys.' Oh, incidentally, his case was
>dismissed through lack of evidence.
>I would add another warning for those who visit Darwin. Be careful
>birding in lonely corners around this city - the rate of violent assault
>up here is far higher than anywhere else in Australia and tourists are
>often mugged, raped, beaten.
>The tourist authorities will warn you about the dangers of mosquitoes and
>crocodiles but they will not warn you about the dangers humans present.
> I always warn my friends and clients - if you're going to bird in any
>but the most public of places, please go with someone else.
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