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22 foot-long caterpillar procession spotted in Australia

Wednesday, April 15th 2020, 6:12 pm - The striking scene of processionary caterpillars was filmed by staff at a kangaroo sanctuary in Australia.

The staff at a kangaroo sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia noticed a striking scene occurring outside on April 14 - a massive procession of caterpillars was passing through.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary Alice Springs reported that the line of caterpillars measured over 7 metres, or 22 feet.

“They are famous for walking in processions. Each caterpillar when it walks leaves a thread of silk for the next one to follow them. Cool hey,” the sanctuary posted on Facebook.

Processionary caterpillars have millions of finely barbed hair that can cause humans to experience itching, rashes and swollen faces if touched and even more severe symptoms if an animal accidentally ingests them, according to Australian Geographic.

“Should a pregnant mare ingest some of these hairs when they fall on grass, they can penetrate the intestinal wall, allowing bacteria into the bloodstream and infection of the placenta. You would not think caterpillars would matter to horses, but their hairs are a dire problem in the Hunter Valley, where they’ve caused hundreds of thoroughbred foals to be aborted,” states Australian Geographic.

Australia’s Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife says that the Indigenous Arrernte people can interpret the length of procession caterpillars as a sign of the severity of an upcoming cold season.

“Across many cultures, it is well known that the presence of certain plants and the behaviour of certain animals may indicate some event or phenomenon. For the Arrernte people of Central Australia, such observations have been vital for surviving the harsh conditions of the Australian desert. The Central Australian climate is extreme, with summer temperatures frequently over 40°C, but in the cool season, frosts are common,” states Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife.

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