SCALY FRIEND: Eidsvold State School students Daley Thompson, William Murray, Emmanuel Parter and Summer Gooda-Gee.
SCALY FRIEND: Eidsvold State School students Daley Thompson, William Murray, Emmanuel Parter and Summer Gooda-Gee. Noel Thompson

Deadly visit has a backstory

STUDENTS at Eidsvold and Monto state schools were in equal parts delighted and nervous to have a visit from Marc Dorse's Deadly Australians tour, stroking shingleback lizards and coming as close to venomous snakes as you would ever want to get.

But what they didn't know was that simply by inviting Mr Dorse into their schools last Thursday, they were helping save endangered freshwater turtles in Queensland.

Mr Dorse, when he's not travelling Australia with his creatures, breeds these turtles, specifically the Jardine River, Bell's, and the Manning River Helmeted varieties.

"I've been into turtles since I was a boy,” Mr Dorse said.

His backyard is dotted with 10,000-litre ponds and aquaculture tubs, where he creates entire ecosystems with fish, yabbies and plants.

Some of the profits from his Deadly Australians tour go straight into fighting for these turtles' survival.

Mr Dorse said the Burnett River had its own endangered turtle, the southern snapping, in which he was interested.

Mr Dorse hopes his Deadly Australians tour gives students "an appreciation for venomous animals without being frightened of them”.

He said country kids, such as those he encountered in Eidsvold and Monto, were generally more appreciative of wildlife and the environment than their city counterparts.

"They have an inherent sense of common sense,” Mr Dorse said.


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