AUSTRALIA
2000


"After The Flood"

POSTSCRIPT

Rough-scaled python, Morelia carinata


When we arrived in Kununurra and checked into the hotel we met Craig from ARP and John Weigel's adopted son Arnie, who were with another film crew due to fly out to the Hunter River to film with John Weigel. If not concidence enough, this film crew, with pony-tailed American herpetologist Bruce Means as its presenter, was also led by a director called David Wright, albeit a younger, pony-tailed American, as opposed to our destinguished statesman-like Englishman. That evening our 10-man and one woman team dined on barramundi with four men from the second group.

We had to remain in Kununurra for two days awaiting the return of the rest of our kit from Mitchell Plateau, being picked up as the second film crew were dropped off. We then flew to Darwin where I met up with snakebite specialist Bart Currie, husband of Vicki Krause who we met in a Sydney park one morning, at the very start of Shoot 1, all those weeks ago. I spent my final day examining preserved elapids at the hospital before flying home to the United Kingdom.

 

Confusion reigns

It later turned out that John Weigel had been confused by two film crews, each led by a David Wright. The phone conversations had apparently gone something like this:

DW1: "Hello John, just confirming the arrangements for the film shoot and the flights out to Hunter River."

JW: "Hello David, yes these are the arrangements................."

Later

DW2: "Hello John, I need to confirm the flight details for our visit to Hunter River."

JW: "Hello David, they are the same as I told you the other day, they haven't changed."

DW2 "When, we haven't spoken for weeks?"

JW: "Yes we have, 2 days ago."

DW2 "No we haven't!"

Etcs. etc. etc.

Australian Reptile Park

As for the Rough-scaled pythons, they were returned safely to the Australian Reptile Park with Rob Porter, and later John Weigel arrived with a third specimen, captured during filming withe the "other David Wright".

Later that year a devasting fire swept through the Australian Reptile Park consuming all the main buildings, the in-house reptile and arachnid collections, the venom production unit and the library. Fortunately the now five rare pythons were not housed on the premises (for security reasons) and they survived the conflagration. These snakes went on to breed for the first time in January 2001 with all ten eggs hatching successfully.