Views #721 | Intermediate 5

Camels, Koalas, Kangaroos

Rebecca talks about creatures in Australia and odd facts about each of them.

Todd: Rebecca, I'm a huge animal lover. I love animals and Australia has lots of wildlife and animals. I was wondering, could you talk about them and starting with, what's the deal with the camels? Why do you have camels?

Rebecca: Camels are not really Australian animals but Australia's really big. It has a lot of desert in the center part of Australia so when white people first arrived in Australia, they decided to explore inland and because it's so dry, there's no water, the couldn't use horses so they brought camels over, but some got away and they went wild and they started breeding and now there's hundreds, maybe thousands, of camels running around wild in the desert.

Todd: No, way, really. So these camels are just free to do whatever, like, do people try to catch them or just let them be or what's the deal?

Rebecca: As far as I know they have no jobs, no obligations. I think they can just do what they want. No, but in the northern part of Australia, actually they have a famous camel race every year, and it's like a horse race but with camels. That's pretty funny.

Todd: Cool. That would be cool to see. OK, I got to ask about the Koala. Now I heard that the Koala actually is not such a cute creature. That it has sharp claws and this and that. Is that true?

Rebecca: Yeah, something I could never really understand is why tourists want to cuddle a koala. I've never cuddled one and I don't want to because I've heard that they don't smell very nice. They're a little bit, not very friendly. Yes, they do have sharp claws and they can hurt you if they choose to. I think they genuinely are pretty peaceful, but I think they would rather sleep so.

Todd: OK, and could the same be said for the kangaroo? So the kangaroo, are they these fun loving creatures or are they kind of wild and dangerous?

Rebecca: Kangaroos are definitely wild and dangerous. I think wallabies are safer. They're smaller and usually more friendly with people. You do have to be careful especially with male kangaroos. When I was a kid I tried to feed a kangaroo but the kangaroo got a little bit over-excited about my sandwich and he pushed me over and he stole my sandwich.

Todd: Man. Whoa. Cool. Well, it's kind of cool that a kangaroo has an attitude.


Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

what's the deal


What's the deal with camels?

You can use the question phrase 'what's the deal' to ask for new information about something. It can be similar in meaning to 'what's going on,' 'what's wrong,' 'what's new' or

Notice the following:

  1. What's the deal with your new job? Why don't you tell me all about it.
  2. I have heard she is quitting her job; what's the deal?

running around wild


There's hundreds, maybe thousands, of camels running around wild in the desert.

When something is 'running around wild,' it means that nobody in controlling it, and it is doing as it wants.

Notice the following:

  1. I went to the zoo, and there were lots of animals running around wild.
  2. The children had no discipline, and they were running around wild.

a cute creature


I heard that the Koala actually is not such a cute creature.

You would call something a 'cute creature' if you thought that it was sweet and good-natured.

Notice the following:

  1. Your cat is such a cute creature.
  2. The new penguin at the zoo is a cute creature.



I could never really understand why tourists want to cuddle a koala.

When you 'cuddle' someone, it means that you hold him in an affectionate way in your arms. Hugging someone is a form of cuddling him.

Notice the following:

  1. I would love a cuddle.
  2. When she saw him at the airport, she gave him a big cuddle.



When I was a kid I tried to feed a kangaroo, but the kangaroo got a little bit over excited about my sandwich.

When you or someone else gets 'over-excited,' it means that you cannot control your enthusiasm and energy.

Notice the following:

  1. The children are a little over-excited today.
  2. I am very over-excited as I go on holiday tomorrow.

Vocabulary Quiz

deal • running • creature
cuddle • over-excited
  1. My cat loves around wild outside our house.
  2. He is a little too old to be this about his birthday.
  3. What's the with your car? How long until they finish fixing it?
  4. How can you think a rat is a cute ?
  5. Dogs are always ready for a and an ear scratch.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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