10 August 2007

Venomous Australian creatures at large in NZ

New Zealanders inhabit a land which is considered to free from venomous creatures (especially snakes). Until now, that is...as today's NZ Herald reports:

Three Auckland girls were stung in a tree by venomous Australian caterpillars that have become widely established here.

It happened in February when the girls, aged around 10, were climbing a eucalyptus tree at their school in Avondale, today's New Zealand Medical Journal reports.

The hairy caterpillar, called the gum leaf skeletoniser, was first discovered in New Zealand in 1992 and is now firmly established throughout the Auckland region.

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