Aussie Bites!

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Australia's Abundant Nature (From Mr. Miura Takamichi!)

Around 25 years ago, when I headed to Melbourne in order to run the ”Melbourne Marathon”, I went sight-seeing both before and after the race; I was excited to see all of the unique animals such as kangaroos, koa-las and wombats at the zoo, but the most exciting and memorable experience was joining a tour to see the “Penguin Parade”.
That being said, this was not a group of captive penguins that were trained to perform a pa-rade, but rather a group of wild penguins that would come ashore of the even-ing and return to their nests. Around 30cm in size and 20 – 30 in number, avoiding their natural predators, these penguins would wait until darkness approached to waddle up all at once to their nests in the grass from the foreshore, before waddling back to the water together once more; they were just so cute! So soothing to look upon! The fact that you could go and see penguins in the wild just a short distance away from a major city like Melbourne was incredible!
Also, on the way home, we stopped by a souvenir store where I bought some aboriginal art. When making my selection, I saw a piece depicting a large fish being cap-tured, and as I have a penchant for buying fish-related things, I bought it and took it home with me. The de-scription of the piece read “BARRAMUNDI”, and when I looked up the word, I found it was about a fish, and meant “Red Eyes”. This fish is of the same species as those found in Japanese fresh and salt water rivers, but can grow to over 1m in length and is on the endan-gered species list. This fish is only found in places where nature abounds, and has recently only been spotted in Miyazaki Prefecture and Kochi Prefecture rivers. As Australia’s aboriginal inhabitants continue to harvest from these natural habitats, I was once more convinced of just how abundant Austral-ia’s nature really is!

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