1.5m-long goanna winched by crane to safety out of weir
February 9, 2024 2:23 PM   Subscribe

"No-one's ever seen anything like it" as 1.5 metre (4.9 foot) long goanna winched by crane to safety out of weir. When Luke Simpson clocked in to work at Torrumbarry Weir for his early morning inspections one of the last things he probably thought he'd be doing would be winching an enormous goanna out of the water.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries (42 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bizarrely, I encountered one of these guys in the flesh for the first time at a reptile shop in an industrial park on the edge of Philly last week. They're like cold-blooded dogs, and seriously impressive.
posted by ryanshepard at 2:39 PM on February 9


Good on ya, Luke Simpson!

(I assume that, being in Australia, these things kill and eat humans? Or are venomous? They still look cute though!)
posted by phliar at 2:44 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


The associated story about a Goanna atop a radio tower seems even more perplexing.
posted by amanda at 2:47 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Goanna's gonna goanna.
posted by milnak at 3:00 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


And if you've ever had your goanna winched, you know how painful that can be!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:08 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Goanna means family
posted by hototogisu at 3:09 PM on February 9 [8 favorites]


The goanna enjoyed a feed of carp after being rescued before scarpering off into some nearby bush.

Goannabsquatulation
posted by y2karl at 3:09 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


There are a lot of excellent reasons to celebrate the posts of chariots pulled by cassowaries but for me the best bit is I always learn of the existence in the world of some animal I've never heard of! Goannas! Numbats!
posted by chavenet at 3:19 PM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Joanna!

Did anyone check to see if she had stolen any eggs?
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:36 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


Haha. Yay!
posted by Glinn at 4:04 PM on February 9


The headline is quite musical when read aloud a few times! Or maybe a diction test...
posted by erebora at 4:23 PM on February 9


"Half-sized Joanna winged to safety by giant bird out of Peter Weir"
posted by hippybear at 4:34 PM on February 9


I knew this was Australian from the phrase "winching an enormous goanna out of the water," which I automatically read in a heavy Australian accent.
posted by criticalyeast at 4:52 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the Australia.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 5:36 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Judging size is difficult, it really depends on your monitor
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 5:44 PM on February 9 [14 favorites]


It’s goanna take him a while to recover from that I betcha
posted by gottabefunky at 5:44 PM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Goanna go out on a limb and say that was the ride of that lizard's life.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:02 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


Croikey! E's a beaut!
posted by The otter lady at 7:04 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


There was an enormous goanna
Who went by the nickname Joanna
She went for a ride
Fervently bestride
A log, then ran to the savannah.
posted by MrVisible at 7:22 PM on February 9 [10 favorites]


Just the other day I was extremely displeased to find that the NY Times' spelling bee game does not view "goanna" as a real word. Another example of their extremely impoverished vocabulary; they should be ashamed of themselves.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:23 PM on February 9 [7 favorites]


Goanna with the wedding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTd1hWJpDcw
posted by Droll Lord at 8:52 PM on February 9


I like that they just gave him some carp, as one might give a cat or dog some treats after going through some stressful ordeal. How sweet!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:24 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


My question is actually about the carp supply. Did they just...have some? In a bucket or what? Is there enough carp in the weir that you can just grab one, like no problem bud here's a carp?
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:57 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


I can't answer that exactly but carp are an invasive pest species in many Australian waterways, so there may well have been some handy.
posted by Coaticass at 10:11 PM on February 9 [4 favorites]


"... and everything went back to normal, until Mr. Simpson arrived the next day and found two goannas waiting patiently in the weir...."
posted by TrishaU at 11:32 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


My question is actually about the carp supply. Did they just...have some? In a bucket or what? Is there enough carp in the weir that you can just grab one, like no problem bud here's a carp?

Carp are an invasive (foreign) species that threaten many native fish and frogs; carp also contribute to riverbank erosion. Deliberately killing carp is a common feature of river/stream/lake management in Australia. So they may well have a supply of carp that they've killed to protect the local waterways.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:43 AM on February 10 [3 favorites]


(I assume that, being in Australia, these things kill and eat humans? Or are venomous? They still look cute though!)

Goannas will usually run or stroll away from people unless cornered. They are actually a traditional food for many Aboriginal Australians.

Goannas do have sharp claws and a nasty bite, and a mouth full of nasty bacteria, so you do want to treat goannas with respect and give them plenty of personal space.

There are only two things in Australia that kill AND EAT humans: salt water crocodiles (only found in the North, they can't cope with weather below 25C/77 Fahrenheit), and sharks. Other things like snakes might kill you (unless you get the anti-venom in time), but they won't eat you.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 12:51 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


Mod note: Earlier derail removed.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:44 AM on February 10


(I assume that, being in Australia, these things kill and eat humans? Or are venomous? They still look cute though!)

For context, when I was a 4 or 5 year old child and didn't know any better, I chased a racehorse goanna and it ran up a tree to get away from me rather than trying to eat me.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:59 AM on February 10 [4 favorites]


Judging size is difficult, it really depends on your monitor

Just measure it along a diagoannal.
posted by flabdablet at 3:07 AM on February 10 [5 favorites]


Wow, what a great story, and so educational! TIL that carp are an invasive species, goannas don’t necessarily want to eat you, and what a weir is. (Besides a director.)

Whenever I think of goannas, I always think of that viral video of the French waitress in Australia who didn’t know anything about them and so wasn’t afraid of them and pulled one out of her restaurant by its tail.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 11:40 AM on February 10 [1 favorite]


All chariots pulled by cassowary's posts have led me to explore marsupial history recently. And what a rabbit hole that is. Among the fun facts are these: marsupials evolved in North America then migrated via land bridge to South America, where there are 30 species of marsupials, most outside of Oz, then migrated via land bridge to Antarctica, which was temperate, it being the Cretaceous, then migrated via land bridge to Australia. Not quite what I expected. Also, marsupials are a different order than either mammals or monotremes . Only two people have died from ring necked octopus bites. By the numbers, the most dangerous species in Australia are magpies and salt water crocodiles.
posted by y2karl at 2:10 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


What, not humans?
posted by hippybear at 2:30 PM on February 10 [1 favorite]


By the numbers, the most dangerous species in Australia are magpies and salt water crocodiles

Actually, the animals that cause THE MOST deaths in Australia are horses. (172 total deaths between 2001-2017)

Then cows: 82 deaths

Then dogs: 53 deaths

Then kangaroos: 37 deaths, all car accidents or motorcycle accidents

Then snakes: 37 deaths

Then bees: 31 deaths

Then sharks: 27 deaths

Then crocodiles: 21 deaths

Fact sheet is here

posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 2:47 PM on February 10 [4 favorites]


(not applicable in Australia)
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:53 PM on February 10


I stand corrected. And edified.

Ms. chariots should start a podcast.

And call it Ozzy Woman Reviews.
posted by y2karl at 4:19 PM on February 10


never goanna give you up
posted by scruss at 5:49 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


A weir aka low head dam is extremely dangerous. They are drowning machines.
posted by interogative mood at 6:58 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


goanawannabesedated
posted by y2karl at 7:01 PM on February 10


Only commenting to state used this word- weir - in scrabble a couple days ago and it was on of the - could it be a word guesses that was indeed a word. And lo and behold I see it here and perhaps look at mefi every couple months (should do it more).
posted by skepticallypleased at 8:39 AM on February 11


Picked up by Miss Cellania on neatorama: with added if you build it they will come fantasy in final para.
posted by BobTheScientist at 11:54 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


A weir aka low head dam is extremely dangerous.

I guess not everyone had the crap scared out of them by the "WEIR = DEATH" public information films when they were kids.
posted by scruss at 6:43 PM on February 12


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